On Sunday afternoon, Atlanta United and Philadelphia Union, the only remaining unbeaten team in Major League Soccer, squared off in a tough contest between the two Eastern Conference teams. It appeared as though the 5-Stripes would win their fourth straight home game to start the season with a two-goal advantage late in the second half. At Mercedes-Benz Stadium, though, Philadelphia Union responded, scoring twice in four minutes to tie the score at 2-2.

One point is awarded to Atlanta United in the Eastern Conference standings. This season, the squad has not lost at home.

“We are winning 2-0 at home, playing very well, creating a lot of chances, and the team was very solid, solid defensively too, but then we gave up two silly goals,” head coach Gonzalo Pineda said in the post-match press conference. ”

With Giorgos Giakoumakis and Jamal Thiaré out due to injury, Atlanta United’s Daniel Ríos, a Mexican striker on loan from CD Guadalajara (Chivas), opened the scoring in the 55th minute. The ball was pushed by the 5-Stripes from left to right on the play, ending at Brooks Lennon’s feet. Thiago Almada received a little feed from Lennon and chipped a cross to the far side of the box. Ríos squared his shoulders and hit a header into the other corner with precision.

In his last two MLS games, Ríos has five goals against the Union. He previously played in Major League Soccer for Nashville SC and Charlotte FC before joining Atlanta United.
On the play, Lennon and Almada received credit for assists. For Almada and Lennon, it’s their first and fourth assists of the 2024 season, respectively.

The second goal for Atlanta United came in the sixty-third minute. Caleb Wiley, a homegrown player, accomplished everything on his own and scored his first goal of the year with a spectacular long-range strike.
Before the last 20 minutes of regulation, the home team led 2-0. In the 73rd minute, Philadelphia Union would tie the score. Mikael Uhre was provided with a sloppy ball, which he took a touch on and put past goalie Brad Guzan. Kai Wagner would score the Union’s equalizer minutes later, making the score 2-2.

In actuality, in the twelfth minute, Ríos attempted Atlanta United’s first shot of the day. Almada attempted a short corner kick but missed, then she played the next one long and drove the ball into the box. Despite making strong contact, Ríos’ header went just over the frame.

Atlanta United held their own against the last team left in Major League Soccer (MLS) without a loss, despite the absence of five players due to injuries. The home team started to establish more rhythm and space as the first half went on to develop the attack. The squad had 19 shots in the game when it was all over, with Tristan Muyumba having a hard attempt that missed the net in the 17th minute.

After a dangerous burst of activity in the first half that called for a valiant defensive effort from the 5-Stripes, the Union came dangerously close to taking the lead. After blocking many shots and heading the ball away, Atlanta United eventually allowed Philadelphia to swoop in a cross from the left side and put a header on frame. In the 32nd minute, Guzan cradled Alejandro Bedoya’s shot for the veteran’s first save of the game.

At the end of the first forty-five, Atlanta produced a few memorable moments. Tyler Wolff’s deft move made room for a pass to Muyumba, who squared it off for his midfield partner Bartosz Slisz. The Polish international set himself up for a shot, but it was blocked and ended up out of bounds for a corner kick for Atlanta United. A few plays later, Almada attempted a shot in a crowded area within the box, which Andre Blake, the goalie for Philadelphia, blocked but was on target.

Blake was hurt in the play and had to leave the game. Oliver Semmle, a backup goalkeeper, took his place.

All things considered, the game was violent, with seven yellow cards issued—five to Philadelphia—and 19 fouls called.
Atlanta United will play its second straight home game when it hosts FC Cincinnati at Mercedes-Benz Stadium the following Saturday. It is 7:30 p.m. Beginning on April 20, a Saturday. For the game, there is also a ticket offer from Kennesaw State.

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