Atlanta United narrowly defeated a formidable C.F. Pachuca 3-2 in the first-ever American Family Insurance Cup. Atlanta strikers Josef Martinez and Dom Dwyer landed on the score sheet, as well as Luiz Araújo. C.F. Pachuca’s goals came from Gustavo Cabral and Avilés Hurtado.
Josef Martinez broke the deadlock early with a quick goal off a deflection. Luiz Araújo followed that three minutes later with a goal of his own. The five stripes were kicking.
But just when it looked like Atlanta would run away with the match, C.F. Pachuca turned it up a notch and frazzled the home side with two quick goals.
In the 22′ from a corner kick, Gustavo Cabral nailed a beautiful header past Atlanta’s Rocco Rios Novo to make the game 2-1. Almost a carbon copy of Atlanta’s opening, Roberto De La Rosa sent a low cross across the face of the goal to the feet of Avilés Hurtado three minutes later. The Colombian international one-timed his shot past the keeper to draw the game level.
For Atlanta, there was a lot to build on from the first half. They had plenty of chances, their attacking play looked great, and they looked comfortable with the ball. The only problem plaguing their offense was finishing. By halftime, the score should’ve been 5-2 in favor of Atlanta. Josef Martinez missed three quality chances to run away with the match, two of those chances were sitters.
I was very pleased with the attitude, the effort, the futbol that they played tonight. It is something to build into for the next game with Miami.Atlanta United Head Coach Gonzalo Pineda
In the 56′, Atlanta sprung into action on a counterattack. Ajani Fortune found Dom Dwyer moving with pace into the attacking third. Dwyer paused a moment, squared his defender, and fired a rocket past Oscar Ustari.
With the win, Atlanta goes 4-0-0 on the record against Mexican opposition in Atlanta. The five stripes will return to MLS action on Sunday, June 19, where they’ll face Inter Miami at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (3 p.m., ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game, La Mejor).
Photo: Courtesy of ATL UTD