Atlanta United's Playoff Run Comes to an End, Falls 4-2 to Columbus Crew
ATLANTA - Atlanta United's playoff run came to an end Sunday night, as it fell 4-2 to Columbus Crew in Game 3 of Round One of the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs. Trailing early, Atlanta battled from behind as Giorgos Giakoumakis and Xande Silva each added their second goal of the playoffs to keep the club within striking distance. But, Columbus held on to book its ticket to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Columbus jumped out to a quick start as Darlington Nagbe scored the opening goal of the match in the ninth minute, collecting a clearance from Miles Robinson at the top of the box and hitting a low, right-footed strike to the bottom corner of the net. Columbus then doubled its lead in the 17th minute as Malte Amundsen struck a long-distance shot into the top right corner of the goal. Alexandru Matan added a third in the 33rd minute, receiving a pass from Diego Rossi on the right side of the box and smashing a finish past Brad Guzan.
Atlanta responded quickly and pulled one back in the 35th minute through Giakoumakis. Thiago Almada played a diagonal ball over the Crew's back line to Brooks Lennon inside the box where he squared the ball for Giakoumakis to pass into the open goal for his 19th goal of the MLS season.
Atlanta continued to attack in the closing minutes of the first half and nearly found a second goal. Giakoumakis had an opportunity on a breakaway but put his attempt over the goal. Minutes later, Robinson played the ball across the face of goal after a corner kick where Luis Abram was inches away from tapping the ball into the net.
But after halftime, Rossi quickly reestablished the three-goal lead by scoring for Columbus just two minutes into the second half, running onto a through ball from Matan and finishing past Guzan to the far post.
The back-and-forth match continued as Atlanta immediately responded again to make it 4-2 in the 50th minute. Lennon delivered a cross from the right side into the center of the box to Silva who calmly touched the ball past Patrick Schulte.
Guzan kept Atlanta alive in the final half hour, making two big saves on Cucho Hernández in the 72nd and 73rd minutes, and totaling four saves in the match. And while Atlanta continued to put pressure on the home side, finishing with 11 shots and four on goal, it was unable to find another goal. Giakoumakis had a few chances, hitting the top of the crossbar on a header from a cross from Almada in the 61st minute, and again with another good chance in the 80th minute as Almada whipped in a free kick from the right wing, but the Greek international couldn't direct his header on goal.
The loss ends Atlanta's season. Columbus will move on to face Orlando City SC on Saturday, Nov. 25 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Shots: 21-11 Columbus
Shots on target: 8-4 Columbus
Corner kicks: 4-3 Atlanta
Fouls Committed: 15-15
xG: 1.8 - 1.5 Columbus
Possession: 53-47 Atlanta
Passing accuracy: 85-83 Atlanta
CLB - Darlington Nagbe 9'
CLB - Malte Amundsen (Morris) 17'
CLB - Alexandru Matan (Rossi) 33'
ATL - Giorgos Giakoumakis (Lennon, Almada) 35'
CLB - Rossi (Matan) 47'
ATL - Xande Silva (Lennon, Fortune) 50'
ATL - Tristan Muyumba (yellow) 27'
CLB - Rudy Camacho (yellow) 71'
CLB - Malte Amundsen (yellow) 73'
CLB - Jay Fortune (yellow) 81'
ATL - Jamal Thiaré (yellow) 90'
Atlanta made one change to its starting lineup with Jay Fortune replacing Matheus Rossetto (calf injury).
Giakoumakis scored his 19th MLS goal of the season
Brooks Lennon recorded two assists, bringing his total to three this post-season.
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
GK: Brad Guzan (c)
D: Brooks Lennon
D: Miles Robinson
D: Luis Abram (Derrick Etienne Jr. - 85')
D: Caleb Wiley
M: Tristan Muyumba
M: Jay Fortune (Jamal Thiaré - 85')
M: Thiago Almada
M: Saba Lobjanidze (Edwin Mosquera - 57)'
F: Xande Silva (Tyler Wolff - 74')
F: Giorgos Giakoumakis
Substitutes not used:
COLUMBUS CREW STARTING LINEUP
GK: Patrick Schulte
D: Rudy Camacho
D: Mohamed Farsi
D: Malte Amundsen
D: Steven Moreira
M: Darlington Nagbe (c)
M: Aidan Morris
M: Yaw Yeboah
M: Alexandru Matan (Kevin Molino - 90+4')
F: Cucho Hernández (Christian Ramirez - 90+4')
F: Diego Rossi (Sean Zawadski - 88')
Substitutes not used:
Armando Villarreal (referee), Corey Parker(assistant), Jose Da Silva (assistant), Tori Penso (fourth), Daniel Radford (VAR), Jonathan Johnson (AVAR).
Images from this story
Atlanta United FC's Brooks Lennon on the field
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