Atlanta United Falls 1-0 to Columbus Crew
ATLANTA - Atlanta United lost 1-0 to Columbus Crew on Saturday afternoon in front of 67,507 spectators at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Josef Martínez returned to the starting lineup for the first time since May 29 against Nashville SC. Atlanta created 15 chances, tying a season-high, but were unable to find a breakthrough goal.
Atlanta started quickly and nearly took the lead in the second minute. Marcelino Moreno brought the ball down left flank and cut in towards the top of the box before finding Martínez inside the 18-yard box. Martínez laid it off to Jake Mulraney who was unmarked on the left side of the box, but his curling left-footed attempt bent just wide of the far post.
Atlanta continued pressuring Columbus' goal throughout the first half. In the 14th minute, Brooks Lennon whipped in a cross from the right side aimed at Martínez who made a run at the near post, but the cross sailed just over the diving Venezuelan's head.
Moments after coming on for an injured Mulraney, Erik López nearly put Atlanta ahead in the 36th minute. Moreno played a diagonal through ball to the right side, splitting a pair of defenders, and found López running at the far post. However, Eloy Room rushed out and denied the Paraguayan from close range.
After a scoreless first half, Columbus took the lead in the 65th minute from a corner kick. Lucas Zelarayán delivered the ball to the near post where Marlon Hairston flicked it across goal. Jonathan Mensah was able to head the ball on frame at the back post and score despite taking a deflection.
Atlanta's best chance to equalize came in the 90th through substitute Amar Sejdić. The midfielder collected the ball at the top of the box, juked a defender and then curled a shot from the edge of the box towards the far post, but the attempt just went over the crossbar.
Atlanta (2-5-8, 14 points) returns to action Friday when they travel to face Orlando City SC at Exploria Stadium (8:00 p.m., ESPN, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game, La Mejor).
Columbus Crew 1, Atlanta United 0
Shots: 19-10 Atlanta
Shots on Target: 5-3 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 11-4 Atlanta
Fouls committed: 13-10 Columbus
Possession: 58-42 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 86-82 Atlanta
CLB - Jonathan Mensah (Marlon Hairston, Lucas Zelarayán) 65'
CLB - Erik Hurtado (yellow) 44'
CLB - Waylon Francis (yellow) 90+2'
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Alec Kann; Ronald Hernández (Erick Torres - 84'), Anton Walkes ©, Alan Franco, Brooks Lennon; Santiago Sosa, Matheus Rossetto (Amar Sejdić - 69'), Marcelino Moreno; Machop Chol (Jurgen Damm - 69'), Josef Martinez, Jake Mulraney (Erik López - 32').
Substitutes not used: Ben Lundgaard, Jackson Conway, Alex De John, Tyler Wolff, Mikey Ambrose.
COLUMBUS CREW STARTING LINEUP
Eloy Room; Jonathan Mensah ©, Pedro Santos (Waylon Francis - 59'), Aboubacar Keita, Saad Abdul-Salaam; Darlington Nagbe, Kevin Molino, Marlon Hairston (Perry Kitchen - 76'), Alexandru Matan (Derrick Etienne - 45'); Bradley Wright-Phillips (Miguel Berry - 76'), Erik Hurtado (Lucas Zelarayán - 45').
Substitutes not used: Isaiah Parente, Grant Lillard, Evan Bush, Harrison Afful.
Robert Sibiga (referee), Jason White (assistant), Benjamin Hall-Volpenhein, (assistant), Elijio Arreguin (fourth), Sorin Stoica (VAR), Jozef Batko (AVAR).
Josef Martínez returned to the starting lineup for the first time since May 29
Jürgen Damm made his first appearance for the club since June 23
Atlanta created 15 chances, tying a season high against Philadelphia (June 20). Atlanta also created 14 chances Wednesday against FC Cincinnati, second-best this season.
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