atlanta united conquered colorado rapids 4-0 in front of his home supporters with a dominant all-round performance.
The first chance of the game came from the slips of Lalas Abubakar. But both teams saw shaky moments in the first few possessions, turning the ball away in dangerous areas to make it anyone’s game.
Colorado tried to put Atlanta behind through long balls on several occasions, but failed to win several aerial combats with Atlanta’s center-back Juanjo Puerta. Atlanta’s high defensive line allowed the Rapids to advance on several counter-attacks in the first half.
But finally the moment came in the 29th minute when Thiago Almada put Atlanta United ahead. The Argentinian fired a free kick from distance that found Rapids goalkeeper William Yarbrough and gave Atlanta a 1–0 lead. The Argentina international redeemed himself after his failed penalty kick attempt by scoring his third free kick of the season.
The Rapids tried to respond as Danny Levya tried his luck from distance but was comfortably saved by Atlanta goalkeeper Quentin Westberg.
Atlanta dominated the first half, with 70% possession and outscoring Colorado 14 to 1. Atlanta also had the luxury of creating several good chances with Almada and Araujo in the middle of the field. The Rapids were fortunate to be only one up going into halftime after a missed penalty by Almada and Atlanta’s good looks in goal.
The Rapids picked up the pace a bit in the opening moments of the second half, forcing Atlanta to be cautious defensively. Head coach Gonzalo Pineda opted for a change at the start, bringing on striker Giorgos Giakoumakis, who created a few half chances with his strong hold-up play.
The game started after the 70th minute. Each side had a few chances at either end, forcing their respective goalkeepers to make saves. The game started out a bit tight for Atlanta as they looked to win with Colorado getting more players on offense.
Atalanta doubled the lead in the 80th minute with a worthy goal from Luiz Araujo. The Brazil international placed the ball well across goal to give the hosts a two-goal cushion. The second goal was coming for Atlanta. Araujo’s performance deserved a goal and he got it.
Atlanta then found their third of the game when an Almada shot from outside was deflected around the six-yard box before Tyler Wolfe put the ball in the back of the net after coming into play.
Giorgos Giakoumakis scored the fourth when he chipped Yarbrough and fired the ball into the back of the net. The Greek international scored his sixth goal of the season and proved effective when subbed.
GK: Quentin Westberg – 8/10 – The first half saw mostly visitors but saved one shot from distance. Made some good saves in the second half to keep a clean sheet.
LB: Ronald Hernandez – 6/10 – Big challenge near his own box to push Atlanta forward on the counter-attack. The up and down left wing contributed to both attack and defence.
CB: Juanjo Puerta – 7/10 – Dominated in the air defensively and held off several counter-attacks by the Rapids. Some headers on Atalanta’s corner kicks went just over the bar.
CB: Miles Robinson – 8/10 – Challenged a great last gasp to deny an early opportunity.
RB: Brooks Lennon – 7/10 – The right-back was active down the field throughout the game, creating half-hearted chances by cutting in on his left foot and shooting from distance. Took a support
DM: Santiago Sosa – 6/10 – Bad was cheap in the first 3 minutes and shaky in the opening moments. The latter recovered and cleaned up a quiet but effective play in midfield.
DM: Mathias Rossetto – 6/10 – Had a calm but solid game and didn’t put a wrong foot.
LW: Derrick Etienne Jr. – 6/10 – The first half was quiet and one shot went wide near the end of the first 45.
AM: Thiago Almada – 9/10 – The only thing keeping his rating from 10/10 was the missed penalty. The midfielder was everywhere in attack for the Five Stripes and he scored another superb free kick.
RW: Luiz Araujo – 8/10 – There was a very active first half which included a shot which led to a penalty kick. There was good tracking in defense as well. Ended his goalscoring drought with a fine spot to seal the win with one of his better performances for Atlanta.
ST: Miguel Berry – 5/10 – was a spectator for most of the game and was fouled early in the second half.
ST: Giorgos Giakoumakis (53′ for Berry) 8/10 – Right after coming on, he put on a great hold-up game and fired a shot wide late in the game. Set up the third goal for Almada with a good ball and scored a superb solo.
DM: Franco Ibarra (74′ for Sousa) – 6/10 – A quiet cameo but was effective in midfield.
ST: Machop Chola (84′ for Araujo) – Not Applicable
CB: Luis Abrams (84′ for Rossetto) Not Applicable
AM: Tyler Wolfe (84′ for Etienne Jr.) – 7/10 – He scored one of the easiest chances ever and was bright when it came on.
Gonzalo Pineda – 7/10 – Their starting lineup surprised many but it worked well in the first half. The substitution of bringing in Giakoumakis was excellent as it created more opportunities for Atlanta.
GK: William Yarbrough – 5/10 – saw Almada’s penalty fly over the bar and made some good saves to keep the Rapids in the game but was unable to prevent a flurry of goals late in the game.
CB: Danny Wilson – 4/10 – Atlanta struggled to maintain a possession game.
CB: Andreas Maxo – 5/10 – Was perhaps the best of the three centre-backs starting the game for Colorado.
CB: Lalas Abubakar – 5/10 – Slipped in the first minute which gave Atlanta a chance but luckily it came to nothing.
LM: Alex Gersbach – 4/10 – Brooks stuck with challenges on the wing against Lennon but struggled to contain Araujo as he dribbled past him several times.
CM: Danny Levya 6/10 – It is unfortunate to concede an early penalty. Shot from distance but didn’t do much after that. There was one bright spot for Colorado with Ronan.
CM: Ralph Priso-Mbong 4/10 – picked up an early yellow card and struggled to contain Almada and dunked.
CM: Conor Ronan 7/10 – Found Space took Rapids’ second shot of the game, earning their first corner at the start of the second half. That was one of the only bright spots for Rapids.
RM: Sam Nicholson – 4/10 – Didn’t really do much and was ineffective.
ST: Kevin Cabral – 4/10 – With little service there was minimal impact on the game.
ST: Michael Barrios – 4/10 – Like Cabral, he had little service and therefore was unable to do much.
LW: Jonathan Lewis (64′ for Cabral) 4/10 – Had a shot but was ultimately ineffective.
CB: Moise Bombito (64′ for Abubakar) – 6/10 – Was active in the back line and made some good challenges.
LM: Calvin Harris (79′ for Priso-Mbong) – N/A
CM: Yosuke Hanya (88′ for Levya) – N/A
CB: Sebastian Anderson (88′ for Wilson) – N/A
Robin Fraser – 5/10 – Their lineup kept them in the game in the first half, but their substitutes didn’t really do much.