These away matches just aren’t going to get any better, are they? Just when we think things are starting to look better, they get worse. Atlanta United lost to the worst team in the Eastern Conference on Wednesday after some terrible officiating and even worse defending allowed DC to score two unanswered goals. It was the second meeting between the two teams, and DC United have been able to take all six points.
There were a few times in the first half where there were some very questionable calls made by Nima Saghafi and the linesmen. Tito Villalba looked to have a sure goal on a run in the 13th minute, but the refs had something else in mind.
In the 23rd minute, Atlanta did what they do best – open the scoring. Yamil Asad caught DC United’s defense playing lazy and found Miguel Almiron who set up a layup for Julian Gressel. It was Gressel’s third goal of the season for the Five Stripes. Atlanta 1, DC 0
Just a few minutes later, DC scored their first goal in three matches when Alec Kann passed what should’ve been a clearance right to Luciano Acosta who easily found the back of the net. Atlanta 1, DC 1
Then, in the 28th minute, Yamil Asad was taken down from behind in the box. Atlanta United is rewarded a penalty and takes the lead, right? Wrong. An offside call saved DC from a situation that would’ve been very difficult to dig out of.
Tyrone Mears and Michael Parkhurst looked especially slow on defense, and it ended up costing Atlanta. Patrick Nyarko took advantage of Atlanta’s seemingly stationary back line and netted the game-winner in the 60th minute. Atlanta 1, DC 2
Josef Martinez nearly equalized in the closing seconds of stoppage time, but Bill Hamid made an incredible one-handed diving save to preserve all three points for DC.
The match was a great opportunity for Atlanta to finally solidify their position on the right side of the red line, but the team we are seeing on the road is far different from the one we’re seeing at home. When you put the league’s leading scorers on the field against a team that hasn’t scored a goal in the run of play in seven matches, you expect nothing less than three points, but DC United seems to be unimpressed with Atlanta’s recent run of form. The Red and Black have scored 42% of their goals this season against Atlanta, and have picked up six points against the Five Stripes.
Atlanta plays the Colorado Rapids on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium. While this is undoubtedly another game that Atlanta should win, we’re going to bite our tongues after tonight.