Cincinnati beat nine-man Atlanta 1-0 behind a Frankie Amaya golazo in the 76th minute, leaving ATLUTD at the bottom of Group E with zero points from two games. They're not mathematically eliminated just yet, but it's not the start they had in mind.
Atlanta were against it early Jake Mulraney was shown his second yellow card in the 26th minute, leaving his side down a man for the remaining 64 minutes of the match. Just before the final whistle, substitute JJ Williams was also sent off in the 100th minute after Video Review for kicking out at Kendall Waston.
With the game in a gritty deadlock as the second half wound on, Amaya — the top selection in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft — stepped up with a beautiful game-winner. He took aim with a curling shot from almost 30 yards out and found the back of the net, over a sprawling Brad Guzan.
It took a bit for Cincinnati to take reap the rewards of their numerical advantage, as their first shot on target didn't come until the 60th minute. Joe Gyau slipped Yuya Kubo through on a tight angle, only for Guzan to make a big save at his near post.
Atlanta thought they won a penalty in first-half stoppage time when Ezequiel Barco was brought down, though the decision was overturned by Video Review due to Barco being offside in the buildup to the foul.
- 76' – CIN – Frankie Amaya | WATCH
Man of the Match
This match screamed out for one defining moment. So up stepped Frankie Amaya.
The 19-year-old midfielder had been buzzing around disrupting play and progressing the ball before turning into the match-winner in the 76th minute. This angle of his winner is worth a few replays.
BEAUTIFUL 😍 pic.twitter.com/UJGtuDQqTw— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 16, 2020
- THE BIG PICTURE: Are Atlanta United on their way out of the MLS is Back Tournament? They'll need a big performance in their final group stage game against Columbus and possibly a little bit of help elsewhere to find their way to the knockout round.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It's all about Amaya's goal. Take a bow!
- YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Trouble in ATL? After losing to the Red Bulls 1-0 in their opening match, this is the first time in club history that Atlanta have been held scoreless in back-to-back games. Superstar forward Josef Martinez remains out for the foreseeable future while rehabbing a torn ACL.
- ATL: Tuesday, July 21 vs. Columbus Crew SC (8 pm ET | TUDN in US, TSN in Canada)
- CIN: Wednesday, July 22 vs. New York Red Bulls (8 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes in US, TSN in Canada)