Two red cards, six goals and 90 minutes later, a game that sped up as Atlanta United drew Chicago Fire 3-3.
A tie brings Atlanta’s points total to 22 with a 6-4-4 record.
Gonzalo Pineda made some changes to the starting lineup for this match. Miles Robinson and Brooks Lennon were given timeouts and were replaced by Luis Abram and Ronald Hernandez respectively. This is Abram’s first MLS start since joining Atlanta United in February.
Franco Ibarra and Amar Sejdic were the midfielders of choice, while Miguel Berry started as a lone striker.
The tide turned in favor of the Five Stripes after Chicago’s Federico Navarro received a second yellow card for a foul on Berry on the edge of the penalty area. Andrew Gutman then put down a free-throw rebound to give Atlanta a 1–0 lead in Chicago after 29 minutes.
The Five Stripes, however, did not hold the lead until halftime after Shaqiri Olimpico parried Quinten Westberg, who hit Juanjo Purata in the back and bounced off the goal line. An unlucky concession at the end of the half saw the teams go to the locker room with a 1-1 draw.
Despite roster rotation, Atlanta United seemed very composed throughout the first half. The team had eight shots, four of them on target, including a goal. On the defensive, the team did a good job of limiting Ogień’s chances, keeping the hosts to three shots and only one – a goal – on target.
Defeated but proving he wasn’t out of the game yet, Fire scored early in the second half after Kacper Przybylko directed Xherdan Shaqiri’s pass into the box and Maren Haile-Selassie fired the ball past Westberg and put Chicago into the net. leading 2:1.
Atlanta United fought back, however, and equalized after Hernandez played a cross to the far post for Gutman to take him down, and Giorgos Giakoumakis leveled the game at 2-2.
However, Giakoumakis is not finished yet. After Almada played it with a beautifully balanced ball, the Greek striker rounded the keeper and placed it in the back of the net. Although the goal was initially disallowed for offside, it was awarded after a brief VAR check. The Five Stripes took the lead again by three goals to two.
Atlanta United saw the red light in the 71st minute after Luiz Araujo picked up a second yellow card just two minutes after the first. In the last 20 minutes of the game, both teams were down to 10 men, but the Five Stripes still led.
This lead was knocked out by another Greek, Georgios Koutsias, who took the ball too easily from a cross into the box and put it into the net to tie it again in the 89th minute at 3-3.
With this late goal, neither side was able to gain the upper hand and the frantic game ended 3-3 with 20 men on the pitch.
It was a game Atlanta United should have taken all three points, but a very poor defense and a really stupid red card wiped out their advantage and forced them to go home with just one point.
Atlanta United will return to action on Saturday May 27 against Orlando City SC at Exploria Stadium.
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