LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – FC Cincinnati defeated Atlanta United FC 1-0 Thursday morning at the MLS is Back Tournament at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World.
The Orange and Blue of Cincinnati held on to a strategy fo pulling back the defense and taking advantage of openings that gave them scoring chances. They managed to keep Atlanta at bay when they caught a break.
Early in the match Jake Mulraney was shown his second yellow card in the 26th minute, meaning the Five Stripers would have to play a man down for the remaining 64 minutes of the match. Funny thing was, nothing changed.
The teams still managed to battle back and forth as though they both had full squads. Atlanta thought they had a penalty kick coming their way with a questionable tackle of Ezequiel Barco in first half stoppage time, but the call was overturned after a video replay. The first half ended with a 0-0 tie.
In the 76th minute, Frankie Amaya managed to break through. Amaya got open and took a nice curling shot into net for the match’s only score. 1-0 Cincinnati.
In the 100th minute, substitute JJ Williams was also sent off after Video Review for kicking out at Kendall Waston.
The loss puts the former powerhouse Five Stripers in danger of being eliminated from the tournament in their next match against Columbus on Tuesday.
Both sides pushed as hard as possible in the difficult 9am game slot, with the heat and humidity increasing as the match moved on. The hydration breaks, that were definitely needed occurred every 15 minutes and were about 7 minutes long each, but have contributed to stoppage time in each of the matches in the tournament.
Atlanta United faces Columbus on Tuesday July 21 at 8pm ET, while FC Cincinnati goes against the New York Red Bulls on July 22 at 8pm ET.