Cincinnati 1-0 Atlanta (May 15, 2024) Match Analysis

Kevin Kelsy’s seventh-minute goal held up for FC Cincinnati, which earned a 1-0 win over Atlanta United on Wednesday.

FC Cincinnati (8-2-3, 27 points) is on a five-game winning streak and is one point behind Inter Miami for the overall league lead.

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Atlanta United (3-6-3, 12 points) is mired in a seven-game (0-4-3) winless drought and was shut out for the fourth time this season.

Cincinnati set the tone early with several scoring chances in the first 25 minutes, highlighted by Kelsy’s goal. Luciano Acosta crossed into the box to find an open Kelsy, and the striker buried his header for his second goal in as many matches.

Wednesday marked Kelsy’s third game and first MLS start. Cincinnati acquired the 19-year-old forward on loan from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk in late April.

Acosta (six goals, seven assists) has accounted for all but three of FC Cincinnati’s 16 goals this season.

Kelsy’s goal was all Cincinnati needed, as the team’s strong defense took over. FC Cincinnati has allowed a record 10 goals in 13 matches this season.

Goalkeeper Roman Celentano made a save for his fifth shutout of the season.

Atlanta’s attack was short-circuited early on when Thiago Almada went off with an apparent injury in the 16th minute. Top scorer Giorgos Giakoumakis also left in the 88th minute with a potential head injury after a collision with Cincinnati defender Miles Robinson.

The Five Stripes had eight total shots in the match, but only one on target. A Cincinnati turnover gave Xande Silva probably Atlanta’s best chance in the 34th minute, but Silva’s shot went wide.

FC Cincinnati is 3-0-3 against Atlanta United since the start of the 2022 season. Two of those wins came in the past month, as Cincinnati began its five-game winning streak with a victory 2-1 in Atlanta on April 20.

Atlanta United lost for the first time (2-1-3) in six all-time road games in Cincinnati.