Atlanta United 2 was defeated by Saint Louis FC 2-0 Saturday night at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. Despite controlling more than 70% possession in the second half and out-shooting Saint Louis 21-10 on the night, ATL UTD 2 couldn’t find the back of the net.
“In the first half, we didn’t show all of our qualities and we didn’t get our foot on the ball. We didn’t really pass the ball like we can as a team,” ATL UTD 2 head coach Stephen Glass said. “In the second half, you saw a number of top individual performances and if that had been there in the first half, perhaps we would have come out on top tonight.”
Saint Louis opened the scoring when Jack Metcalf was ruled to have taken down Kyle Greig inside the 18-yard box. Defender Sam Fink scored the ensuing penalty attempt in the 9th minute with a low shot to the bottom left corner as Atlanta goalkeeper Alec Kann guessed to the right.
Russell Cicerone doubled Saint Louis’ lead in the 20th minute. Lewis Hilton played a long ball down the right side where Cicerone dribbled into the box and scored with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.
ATL UTD 2’s attack responded by firing 19 of its 21 shots after conceding the second goal. Andrew Carleton led all players with eight shots, which tied the ATL UTD 2 single-game record.
Atlanta nearly cut the deficit in half on several occasions, including a sequence in the 68′ minute when Dion Pereira dribbled along the end line and cut the ball back for Carleton in the center of the box. Carleton one-timed a shot, but it struck the back of Romario Williams. Luiz Fernando won the ball in the air and headed it back to Carleton where the Homegrown took a shot on a half-volley with his left foot, but it was lifted just over the crossbar. Less than a minute later, Carleton had a curling shot from the left side drift inches wide of the far post.
Wesly Decas made his ATL UTD 2 debut and logged 45 minutes as he started the second half, substituting for defender Florentin Pogba. Homegrown Lagos Kunga and forward Yosef Samuel each made their first appearance for the team this season.
Shots: 21-19 Atlanta
Shots on Target: 5-5
Corner kicks: 8-5 Saint Louis
Fouls committed: 9-8 Atlanta
Saves: 4-3 Saint Louis
Offside: 3-0 Atlanta
Possession: 65-35 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 85-67 Atlanta
ATL UTD 2 (1-2-1, 4 points) returns to action Wednesday, April 10 against Memphis 901 FC at 8:00 p.m. EST at AutoZone Park. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+.
Photo: Courtesy of ATL UTD