Frankie Amaya’s goal gives Cincinnati a win over Atlanta

Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez (7) and FC Cincinnati defender Andrew Gutman (96) vie for the ball in the first half of an MLS soccer match, in Cincinnati. (John Minchillo/AP)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Frankie Amaya scored his first career Major League Soccer goal in the 76th minute to give Cincinnati a 1-0 victory over Atlanta United on Thursday in the MLS is Back tournament.

United was playing a player down after Jake Mulraney was sent off in the 26th minute with his second yellow card. Cincinnati struggled for much of the match to capitalize on the man advantage against the 2018 MLS Cup champions until Amaya’s goal.

The young midfielder’s left-footed shot from atop the penalty area sailed over the outstretched arm of Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Amaya, the first pick in the 2019 MLS draft, has played for the U.S. Under-20 team.

Cincinnati caught a break in first-half stoppage time when Atlanta appeared to win a penalty kick from a foul on Ezequiel Barco, but it was overturned by an offside call after video review.

Both teams entered the game with losses in the MLS is Back tournament. United fell 1-0 to the Red Bulls, while Cincinnati was routed 4-0 by Columbus.

The two teams met early in the regular season in Atlanta, with United winning 2-1 on goals from Emerson Hyndman and Barco. Atlanta won both of its regular-season games before the league was shut down by the coronavirus outbreak on March 12.

Cincinnati lost its two regular-season games. The team had faced upheaval when coach Ron Jans resigned in February after a league investigation found he’d used a racial slur in the locker room. Jaap Stam was hired as head coach in May.

Cincinnati struggled as an expansion team last season, finishing last in the Eastern Conference with a league-worst six wins. Going into Thursday’s game, it had just one win in its last 17 games.

Cincinnati was missing several key players because of injury, including forward Jurgen Locadia, midfielder Allan Cruz and defender Greg Garza.

Atlanta’s J.J. Williams was sent off with a red in stoppage time and United finished out the game with just nine players.

Amaya’s goal was Cincinnati’s first of the tournament.

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