Four players scored to lift Atlanta United to a dominant 4-2 win over the Columbus Crew in Game 2 of Round One of the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs Tuesday night. Giorgos Giakoumakis, Xande Silva, Edwin Mosquera, and Thiago Almada each scored to set a club record for most goals in a playoff match as it forced a decisive Game 3.
Atlanta took control of the match midway through the first half and found the go-ahead goal in the 38th minute through MLS’ 2023 Newcomer of the Year, Giakoumakis. After elongated possession in Columbus’ half, Matheus Rossetto found Brooks Lennon making a run down the right flank. He lobbed a ball to the center of the box where Giakoumakis thunderously headed the ball past the keeper.
Columbus, however, responded with an equalizer in the 45th minute. Atlanta turned the ball over in midfield and Steven Moreira quickly played a pass to Diego Rossi. The Uruguayan dribbled towards goal and found Cucho Hernandez inside the box where he took one touch before firing a shot inside the near post to level the match.
Atlanta wasted little time in restoring its lead as Xande Silva scored deep in stoppage time. Lennon played Saba Lobjanidze down the right flank where he settled the ball before passing to Giakoumakis in the center of the box. Giakoumakis played Silva’s overlapping run down the left wing where his first-touch shot found the roof of the net.
Edwin Mosquera checked into the match in the 80th minute and made an immediate impact, scoring three minutes later. Mosquera received a throw-in near the halfway line, split a pair of defenders, and dribbled by a third before laying a pass off for Giakoumakis. The Greek striker passed it back to Mosquera, whose first touch sent a rocket into the upper left corner to set the score at 3-1.
Thiago Almada sealed the deal in the 88th minute with his first playoff goal. Caleb Wiley received a pass near midfield and found Almada in-stride down the left wing with plenty of space ahead. The 2023 MLS Young Player of the Year was behind Columbus’ backline and sprinted towards goal. As Patrick Schulte came off his line to close the angle, Almada chipped the ball over the goalkeeper to make it a 4-1 game. The Crew’s Max Arftsen pulled one goal back in the 95th minute from a corner kick to make the match 4-2 before the final whistle.
Shots: 14-11 Atlanta
Shots on target: 7-4 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 5-0 Columbus
Fouls Committed: 9-8 Atlanta
xG: 2.37 – 1.37 Atlanta
Possession: 51-49 Atlanta
Passing accuracy: 89-85 Columbus
I think we got some momentum after scoring four goals on them, so hopefully we can continue that, continue to grow and if we do that, we will win.”Miles Robinson on the team’s confidence going into Game 3
Atlanta will travel to Lower.com Field in Columbus for Game 3 on Sunday, Nov. 12 with a spot in the Eastern Conference Semifinals at stake (7 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass, 92.9 The Game, SiriusXM, La Mejor).