Friday April 12th, 2024 6:54AM

Atlanta United falls 1-0 defending champs in MLS opener

By ATLUTD Communications

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Atlanta United fell 1-0 to Columbus Crew to open the MLS season Saturday at Lower.com Field.

Stian Gregersen, Derrick Williams and Bartosz Slisz each made their club debuts.

Columbus scored the game's opening goal in the 27th minute through Cucho Hernandez. Diego Rossi played a cross from the left wing across the face of goal that Brad Guzan deflected, however the ball fell to Hernandez who struck a first-time finish into the net.

After a lengthy VAR review, Columbus was awarded a penalty kick in the 54th minute for a foul on Mohamed Farsi inside the box. Hernandez stepped up to take the penalty kick but Guzan dove to the right to make the save and keep Atlanta within a goal.

Atlanta immediately responded after the save, out-possessing Columbus and continuing to put the Crew back line under pressure. In the 69th minute, Thiago Almada played a dangerous a ball into the box to Saba Lobjanidze who chested it down and laid it off to Giorgos Giakoumakis, however a last-second tackle prevented him from getting a shot on goal.

In the 71st minute, Almada received a pass from Bartosz Slisz in the attacking half and quickly played a through ball behind the Columbus back line to Xande Silva. A Crew defender tackled the ball into the path of Giakoumakis, who had his shot saved by Patrick Schulte.

Gonzalo Pineda made a pair of substitutions in the 81st minute, bringing on Jay Fortune and Tyler Wolff for Tristan Muyumba and Xande Silva as Atlanta continued to push for the equalizer.

Almada nearly leveled the match in the 90th minute, combining with Wolff at the top of the box before unleashing a right-footed strike toward goal that was headed just over the crossbar by a Crew defender.

Atlanta United (0-1-0, 0 points) returns to action Saturday, March 9 when it hosts New England Revolution in the club's home opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

  • Associated Categories: Sports, Atlanta United
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