Atlanta United 2 Draw 1-1 with Charlotte Independence
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - Atlanta United 2 fought back in the second half to tie Charlotte Independence 1-1 Wednesday night at Coolray Field. Atlanta United Academy U-19 goalkeeper Justin Garces made three saves in his professional debut while Shawn Nicklaw forced an own-goal with a strike from distance as both sides split the points.
"If not for falling asleep on a set piece and getting unlucky, I think we take the win, but, I am happier with the overall performance," said ATL UTD 2 head coach Scott Donnelly. "[We are] continuing to make progress, and that as a coach is my job with the club, that's the most important thing."
Charlotte stole an early goal in the 6th minute from a corner kick taken by Jorge Herrera. Midfielder Kevan George headed the cross down which fell to the feet of Eamon Zayed, who struck the ball just past a lunging Garces.
Despite not putting a shot on goal in the first 45 minutes, ATL UTD 2 took over the match in the second half with a flurry of scoring opportunities beginning in the 58th minute when Homegrown Andrew Carleton dribbled toward the middle of the field and ripped a right-footed shot at the top-right corner, but his attempt sailed just wide of the post. Carleton put another shot on goal two minutes later as he one-timed a cross from Nicklaw, but was denied by goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra. Oliver Shannon put a shot on frame less than 30 seconds later, but he also hit the ball right at Dykstra.
Atlanta finally found the equalizer in the 79th minute when Nicklaw was left in space and took a right-footed shot from 30 yards out. The Guam international's hit rattled the crossbar, bounced off the back of Dykstra and fell into the goal.
ATL UTD 2 pushed for the game-winner in the final 10 minutes as second-half substitute Jon Gallagher put a free kick on frame in the 81st which was saved, and Carleton nearly curled in a shot from 30 yards out in the 83rd minute, but his shot drifted just over the crossbar. Devon Sandoval's header hit the left post in the 90th minute and Jose Hernandez had a shot from inside the box saved in the second minute of stoppage time.
ATL UTD 2 (2-7-5, 11 points) returns to action Saturday, June 16 against Ottawa Fury FC at 7:00 p.m. EST at Coolray Field. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+.
Atlanta 1, Charlotte 1
Shots: 15-12 Atlanta
Shots on Target: 5-4 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 7-7 Atlanta
Fouls committed: 13-12 Atlanta
Saves: 3-5 Charlotte
Offside: 1-0 Atlanta
Possession: 58-42 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 78-68 Atlanta
CLT - Eamon Zayed 6'
ATL - Andrew Dykstra (own-goal) 79'
ATL - Andrew Carleton (yellow) 50'
CLT - Joel Johnson (yellow) 58'
ATLANTA UNITED 2 STARTING LINEUP
Justin Garces; Jose Hernandez, AJ Cochran ©, Andrew Kendall-Moullin, Shawn Nicklaw; Oliver Shannon, Chris Goslin; Yosef Samuel (Jon Gallagher - 73'), Andrew Carleton, Laurent Kissiedou (Jose Carranza - 78'); Devon Sandoval.
Substitutes not used: Will Crain, Jackson Conway, Chad Letts, Kevin Barajas, Paul Christensen.
CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE STARTING LINEUP
Andrew Dykstra; Bilal Duckett, Henry Kalungi, Joel Johnson, Samuel Vines; Kevan George, Jorge Herrera, Alex Martinez, Je-Vaughn Watson (Jake Areman - 85'); Eamon Zayed (Greg Jordan - 83'), Cordell Cato.
Substitutes not used: Mutaya Mwape, Donnie Smith, Brandon Miller, Ricardo Perez.
Greg Dopka (referee), Amilcar Sicaju (assistant), Brian Marshall (assistant), Aleksandar Zhelyazkov (fourth).
Justin Garces made his professional debut as ATL UTD 2's starting goalkeeper and recorded three saves
Atlanta out-possessed its opponent for the fourth-consecutive match
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