FC Cincinnati Draw Atlanta Thanks to Alec Kann Penalty Save

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ATLANTA – Atlanta United hosted FC Cincinnati on Saturday afternoon. Both teams were coming off loses, having recently lost to expansion side Charlotte FC. They needed a win.

FC Cincinnati Draw Atlanta Thanks to Alec Kann Penalty Save

The lineups had some interesting decisions. Atlanta were without Josef Martinez, starting Ronaldo Cisneros up top in front of Marcelino Moreno. Dominique Badji started in a left wing back in a mostly 3-4-1-2 that at times played like a back five.

The first half was energetic with both teams dangerous in transition. Atlanta had more numerous chances but the best looks came to the visitors. Brandon Vázquez had an open header on a set piece 20 minutes in but could not finish. Later in the half, Lucho Acosta had back to back chances, with the first one saved, and the second deflected out of play by a teammate.

The second half started less frantic than the first. Atlanta appeared to have their golden chance on the hour mark when Dominique Badji was called for a handball just off the goal line on a shot by Cisneros. Moreno took the spot kick but Cincinnati goalkeeper made a great save diving to his right.

There were several noteworthy personnel changes in the final 20 minutes. Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan was stretchered off with what looked like an Achilles injury. Nick Hagglund was given a second yellow card for a bad foul on Thiago Almada in the 76th minute. With 10 minutes to go, Emerson Hyndman subbed on in his first appearance since an ACL injury nearly a year ago.

Cincinnati were able to hold on down a man, as the match ended 0-0. Andrew Gutman had the best chance of stoppage time, getting an open look on a cross with just the keeper to beat.

Three Key Takeaways:

Injury and a return: Guzan’s departure did not look good. Bobb Shuttleworth did not have much to do in relief. Guzan is a veteran leader and if he is out for any significant amount of time, it would hurt the Five Stripes. Hyndman’s return got a round of applause when subbing on. He was not bad for having missed almost a year.

Alec Kann penalty save: Kann was heroic in this game. He came off his line and communicated very well. The penalty stop will make the headlines, but he put in a great 90 minute shift for his first clean sheet of the year.

Quantity but no quality: Atlanta had 23 shot attempts to Cincy’s nine, but only six on goal. They had plenty of looks but finishing was poor. Moreno’s penalty was not bad. It was more a great save than a poor shot.

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