Atlanta United’s Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoff hopes remain alive after a 2-0 home win in Week 22 over FC Cincinnati, while the result ensured the Orange and Blue miss out on postseason soccer for the second straight year.
The Five Stripes took a 1-0 lead in the 8th minute through Adam Jahn, as the striker banged home a Jurgen Damm feed from the right flank. The Mexican winger shook free before delivering a low, driven cross that the center forward one-timed home.
Atlanta made it 2-0 in the 26th minute through a Marcelino Moreno penalty kick, marking the Designated Player’s first goal upon coming to MLS this summer from Lanus in his native Argentina. Moreno smashed the PK up the middle shortly after Jon Gallagher was tripped up in the 18-yard box by Kendall Waston.
FC Cincinnati flooded numbers forward late, trying to keep their season alive, but couldn’t muster one past Brad Guzan. In fact, the Atlanta United goalkeeper was most threatened in the 45th minute off a Brandon Vazquez header that he pawed out of the top corner.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Atlanta United are still in danger of not qualifying for the playoffs, and their test next weekend at Columbus will be quite difficult. But they got the job done and live to fight on Decision Day presented by AT&T. As for FC Cincinnati, they’re the first Eastern Conference team to be eliminated from the playoffs in 2020. They’ve scored a league-low 11 goals, and have now lost eight of their last nine games (plus four straight).
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Adam Jahn’s opener in the 8th minute set the tone in a must-win match for Atlanta United. The striker now has three goals on the year, and the latest came after a deceptive run and beautiful setup from Jurgen Damm.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Marcelino Moreno is off the mark in MLS, and he seems to be getting increasingly comfortable. There’s probably another level or two for Atlanta's DP to reach, though his quality is readily apparent.