Atlanta United defender Ronald Hernandez #2 dribbles the ball during the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match against Nashville SC at Geodis Park in Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday May 11, 2022. (Photo by Dakota Williams/Atlanta United)

Atlanta United fell to Nashville SC 3-2 in U.S. Open Cup action on Wednesday night in Nashville. Atlanta’s goals came from Thiago Almada and Luiz Araújo while Nashville’s came from Hany Mukhtar.

Good link-up play saw Atlanta United score twice in 16 minutes, but a softly-awarded penalty kept the homeside in the game.

Nashville SC thought they had drawn level in the 79′ minute, but the goal was called offsides. On a set piece, Walker Zimmerman connected a beautiful cross with his head past Bobby Shuttleworth, and in all the replays, he was definitely onside. Remember, U.S. Open Cup doesn’t use VAR, so the seemingly tying goal was immediately called off. But justice for Nashville came in 90+1′ when a long throw-in ended with a goal by C.J. Sapong.

In extra time, Nashville’s Ethan Zubak was able to cement their comeback in the 93′ minute. Hany Mukhtar played a beautiful through ball to Zubak who was on 1 v 1with the keeper. As Brooks Lennon and George Campbell caught up, Zubak gathered himself and shot past the keeper and both defenders to take the lead. Atlanta would never recover.

This isn’t the first blown lead by the five stripes and it won’t be the last. “That’s one of the main aspects of the game that we are working on,” said Matheus Rossetto, the captain on the evening. “There are little details where we can be more consistent. We’re scoring two or three goals but we’re working on those little details not to concede. Now we just go back to Atlanta, rest and try to improve every day, every training session to win as many games as possible.”

Atlanta United (4-4-2, 14 points) returns home to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for MLS action on Sunday, May 15 against New England Revolution (1:30 p.m. ESPN/ESPN Deportes, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game, La Mejor).

-Jon Jones

Photo: Courtesy of Atlanta United

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