Atlanta United 1 - 3 D.C. United

A raucous crown of 46,000 packed into the Bobby Dodd stadium in Atlanta to witness the first ever league game between Atlanta United and DC United. With DC only managing one point in their first 3 games away from RFK, and Atlanta coming off a 3-1 win in Salt Lake the expansion team were viewed as the favorites.

DC’s line was once again led by new signing Sebastien Le Toux, although Patrick Mullins was, for the first time since he was injured against the Columbus Crew, back on the bench.

Atlanta started out on the front foot, with attack after attack flowing down towards Bill Hamid in the DC goal. On the few occasions DC were able to get the ball into the other half...

...they were closed down quite quickly...

...and the ball was sent back up the other end.

So it was almost inevitable that in the 9th minute former Premier League striker Kenwyne Jones latched onto a cross and headed it past Hamid to give Atlanta the lead...

...which he celebrated with an enthusiastic flip.

DC then started to get a little more of the ball, but the Atlanta defenders harried and harassed the DC forwards at all points.

Which left DC struggling to get back into the game, with only Hamid really keeping them in the game as Atlanta continued to pepper his goal with shots.

Greg Garza played tight to Lloyd Sam, cutting off United’s right wing threat...

...at every opportunity

In the 23rd minute, a rare DC attack that made it into the box, saw Lamar Neagle coming in from the left wing, where his attempted pass into the box deflected off an outstretched Michael Pankhurst, sneaking past Alec Kann to tie the game at 1-1.

After that Atlanta continued their pressure, attempting to restore their lead...

...but Hamid continued to stand tall.

Le Toux started to come into the game...

...with a shot that didn’t trouble Kann.

Then in the 36th minute Luciano Acosta, once again, showed why DC broke their transfer record to bring the tricky Argentinian to the club...

...as he jinked past the entire Atlanta defense before calmly slotting the ball past Kann to give DC a lead they’d not lose.

Atlanta continued to press, but as the game went on the DC defenders started to play better, closing down more than they had in the opening half of the first half.

Sean Franklin even managed to make a few breaks forward from his right back position.

...but it was Atlanta that continued to press more.

So the first half ended at 2-1 to DC. In the second half both teams pushed forward...

...with Atlanta continuing to have more more of the ball, as the crowd roared them on to pull back into the game.

...but DC caught Atlanta on a quick counter attack in the 55th minute, and an incisive pass from Acosta put Le Toux into a 1 on 1 situation with Kann, and the striker smashed the ball into the back of the net for his first DC goal. In the 74th minute Le Toux’s reward was to be replaced by Mullins.

The game then started to get a little scrappy, with tackles (and in one case, an elbow) flying.

Atlanta continued their dominance of the ball, but as the game progressed DC’s defense continued to pick them off...

...blocking their path to the goal.

As the game neared its conclusion, a Mullins through ball...

...put Neagle through...

...into a 1 on 1 situation with Kann...

...and while he pulled the ball back and forth, looking for a way past...

...the defenders were given an opportunity to get back, which meant that when he did find a way past Kann, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez was in position on the line, to head the ball away.

The game ended, as it had mostly been played, with Atlanta on the attack...

...but while they closed out with 26 shots to DC’s meagre tally of 9, the more important stat was DC’s 3 goals scored to the single solitary Atlanta goal, giving DC their first road win of the season, and a 100% record at Bobby Dodd stadium (Atlanta will be in their new stadium next season, and this is the only meeting between the two in Atlanta this season).

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