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2019 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Josef Martínez (5')
  • Roland Lamah (86')

Atlanta United still winless after draw with expansion FC Cincinnati

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Cincinnati stun Atlanta United with late draw (2:21)

New boys FC Cincinnati scored late to equalize and punish the lax second-half performance from defending MLS Champions Atlanta United. (2:21)

FC Cincinnati has not even played a home game yet, but it has a tie and a point against the defending MLS champions as Roland Lamah scored in the 86th minute to earn a 1-1 result on the road against Atlanta United.

It was the first time an opponent earned a point at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium since Aug. 4 of last year when Toronto FC played to a 2-2 tie.

Playing for nearly the entire game with a 1-0 lead, the Atlanta United defense was unable to hold off the league's newest expansion team in the closing minutes. FC Cincinnati will make its anticipated home debut on March 17 at Nippert Stadium against the Portland Timbers.

Josef Martinez scored in the fifth minute for Atlanta United, sending the crowd of 53,000 into an early frenzy. But offense proved hard to come by the rest of the day.

Martinez, who led MLS with 31 goals last season, not only scored his first of the season, it was the first of the year in the MLS regular season for Atlanta United, which was shut out 2-0 at D.C. United in its opener March 3.

Martinez nearly had a second goal in the 57th minute, but his point-blank shot was stopped by FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Spencer Richey. In his first appearance with FC Cincinnati and second ever MLS game, after making a start for Vancouver in 2017, Richey had three saves.

Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan was not only unable to stop FC Cincinnati's only shot on goal, but also he was unable to finish off his 17th career MLS shutout after Lamah's shot made its way past his left foot.

Atlanta United's early 1-0 lead came when Martinez outran the FC Cincinnati defense, taking a perfectly timed long pass from Julian Gressel up the right side and beating Richey to the short side of the goal.

FC Cincinnati nearly evened the score in the 54th minute, but Fanendo Adi's header past Guzan and into the goal was nullified by an offsides call that was verified by replay.

FC Cincinnati defender Greg Garza, who played 37 games with Atlanta United the previous two seasons and was a 2017 MLS All-Star, entered in the 71st minute to a standing ovation.

Kenny Saief made his FC Cincinnati debut as a substitute in the 73rd minute. Saief, who has played four games for the U.S. Men's National Team, was acquired on loan from Anderlecht in Belgium and joined his new side on Wednesday.