Monday July 15th, 2024 2:45PM

Atlanta United Falls 5-2 at Real Salt Lake

By ATLUTD Communications

SANDY, Utah — Atlanta United dropped its second straight match on Saturday, falling 5-2 to Real Salt Lake at America First Field.

Midfielder Saba Lobjanidze and forward Daniel Ríos each claimed their fifth goals of the year for the Five Strips.

Real Salt Lake struck quickly to score the opening goal in the first minute, as Diego Luna received a pass on the edge of the box and delivered a cross to an open Matt Coroks in front of goal who volleyed the ball into the net.

Atlanta created its first pair of opportunities in the 10th and 11th minutes of the match. After an Atlanta corner kick, Ronald Hernández received the ball in the center of the box and put his left-footed attempt wide. A minute later, Lobjanidze sent in a dangerous cross from the right wing to Ríos, however the Mexican striker's header glanced just wide of the left post.

Atlanta's pressure forced a Salt Lake turnover in the final third in the 21st minute as Bartosz Slisz intercepted a pass and quickly put a shot on goal to force a diving save from Gavin Beavers. Ríos arrived first to the rebound but was unable to hit the target with a shot from a tight angle.

Atlanta leveled the match in the 31st minute through some quick combination play in the box and a precise finish from Lobjanidze. The move started with Caleb Wiley and Xande Silva winning the ball back deep in Salt Lake's half on the left wing. Silva then found Slisz near the edge of the box, who played the ball forward to Lobjanidze. The Georgian winger played a clever one-touch back-heel to Riós, who returned the ball with a layoff into the path of Lobjanidze where he placed a right-footed finish into the bottom corner.

Braian Ojeda re-gained the lead for Salt Lake in the 59th minute, collecting the rebound from a blocked shot inside the box off a corner kick before turning and finishing past Brad Guzan. Cristian Arango added a third in the 68th minute, heading home a free kick delivery from the right wing from Luna. Salt Lake claimed its fourth of the night in the 78th minute following a corner kick sent in by Luna that met Alexandros Katranis at the edge of the 18, who one-timed a left-footed shot that was sent to the top right corner.

Ríos pulled one back for Atlanta in the 80th minute to make it 4-2 on an assist from Brooks Lennon, heading home a cross at the back post for his fifth goal of the season.

Luna added a fifth goal for Salt Lake in the 84th minute to seal the win for the home side.

Atlanta United (6-10-6, 24 points) returns to action on Tuesday, July 9 when it hosts Indy Eleven in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup at Fifth Third Stadium in Kennesaw.

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