Atlanta United FC’s offence shines in a 4-2 home win

Atlanta United FC's offence shows up against Toronto FC yesterday in Atlanta, Georgia

ATLANTA, GA – Atlanta United FC’s offence, and Juan José Purata’s hat-trick was a big reason why Atlanta won the game in a high-scoring second half. TFC took advantage of their scoring opportunities, but Atlanta had most of the scoring opportunities, and as a result, won the game 4-2.

Atlanta United FC’s offence shows up in a 4-2 win at home

Three keys to the game

Atlanta United FC got behind Toronto FC’s backline

TFC had trouble stopping Atlanta from getting past their backline. This was true throughout the game, especially in the first half.

  • Dom Dwyer passed the ball to Luiz Araújo, but the pass was way too strong and Araújo was not able to take advantage of the scoring opportunity.
  • There was another instance where Andrew Gutman and Dom Dwyer were making passes inside TFC’s box, which almost led to a goal.

This was also clearly seen in Atlanta’s second goal. Following a corner, Atlanta players were heading the ball to each other, resulting in Juan José Purata’s second goal of the game. It all started with Brooks Lennon, who passed the ball to Gutman. Then, Amar Sejdic headed the ball to Juanjo Purata for his second goal of the game.

This was bigger of a factor in the second half, one common theme for both halves is Toronto giving too much space for Atlanta to play with. This resulted in Atlanta United FC’s Thiago Almada scoring a fantastic goal from outside the box, which made it 3-2. Also, Almada’s shot being stopped by Westberg created a corner late in the second half that resulted in Atlanta’s fourth goal of the game.

Atlanta United FC did well with corners

This was probably the biggest reason why Atlanta won the game. Three of their four goals were created by corners. Yes, Mark-Anthony Kaye’s mistake led to the first goal, which drew a corner.

This along with Purata’s second goal was the reason why Atlanta won the game. It is also a shame for Westberg on the last goal as he was forced to make a save for an Atlanta corner. That corner ended up being Atlanta’s fourth goal. All in all, it was a result that Atlanta deserved considering the level of play for both teams. Atlanta could have scored more goals as Westberg made a penalty save early in the game.

Toronto FC did not create that many scoring chances.

Atlanta United FC scored four goals while Toronto FC only had two shots on goal. That alone tells the story for TFC. Yes, Toronto converted on their two shots on goal, scoring both times.

The only other big chance had was late in the game, when Deandre Kerr’s shot hit the post and almost went into the back of the net. However, for the most part, Toronto converted on most of their scoring chances. Their problem was creating those scoring opportunities, which can result in goals.

Other Factors

After an impressive string of form for TFC’s defence as of late, they did not play well in the Canadian Classique game last week nor the game yesterday against Atlanta United FC. It is important to point out though that getting a point on the road is much harder than at home.

It is also unfortunate as there were some great individual defensive plays by Domenico Criscito and Lukas MacNaughton. Moreover, goalkeeper Quentin Westberg played well today but needed more help from his backline. The only big positive headline was probably Doneil Henry making his 100 appearances for TFC.

The chances for TFC of making the MLS Cup Playoffs are slim to none. They are now second last in the Eastern Conference. They are seven points behind the Columbus Crew SC, who has played two fewer games than TFC. It seems inevitable that TFC will not qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs. A big factor for this was only getting one point in their last two home games against the LA Galaxy and CF Montreal.

Meanwhile, for Atlanta United, their chances are very much alive. This was thanks to Atlanta United FC’s offence in the second half. It will still be tough though as Columbus has a game in hand on Atlanta. The Crew is also five points ahead of Atlanta United. The game on October 1 for Atlanta will be very important as the New England Revolution are only two points ahead of them.

Games coming up for both teams as Juan Purata scores a hat-trick

TFC’s next game is on September 17 against Orlando City SC in Florida at Exploria Stadium. That game will be shown live nationally in Canada on TSN and will also be shown on Fox 35 Plus at 7:38 p.m. ET.

This is while Atlanta has two games to play by next Saturday. They first travel to Florida to face Orlando City SC at 6:08 p.m. ET on Wednesday. They will then host the Philadelphia Union at 3:50 p.m. ET on Saturday. Fans can watch the Orlando-Atlanta game on MLS LIVE on DAZN, Fox 35 Plus, and Bally Sports Southeast.

Photo Credit: Atlanta United FC’s Twitter Account on September 10, 2022.