Atlanta United beats FC Cincinnati 2-1

ATLANTA (AP) — Ezequiel Barco and Emerson Hyndman scored and Atlanta beat FC Cincinnati 2-1 on Saturday night in United’s first game since losing Josef Martinez to a knee injury.

With Martinez watching from a luxury box and expected to miss much of the season, United improved to 2-0 before another huge crowd in its home opener, passing the first test without one of Major League Soccer’s most dynamic scorers.

Adam Jahn started in Martinez’s familiar striker spot, but it was Barco and Pity Martinez largely picking up the slack for the 2018 MVP.

In the 21st minute, Pity Martinez set up Barco for the first home goal of the year. Settling a towering pass down the right sideline, Martinez zigzagged toward the Cincinnati goal with Kendall Waston trying desperately to mark him.

Just short of the end line, Martinez delivered a pass that got past Waston, another defender and keeper Spencer Richey before Barco buried it from right in front of the net.

Atlanta extended its lead in the 55th. While United was controlling play just outside the area, Hyndman slipped inside, took a no-look pass from Barco and ripped a shot to the short side that eluded a diving Richey.

Cincinnati finally broke through in the 65th on Yuya Kubo’s veering shot from about 22 yards out.

Categories: Sports – Soccer