Atlanta United pierces Chicago Fire with Ronaldo Cisnero hat trick
Atlanta (5-4-2, 17 points) continued its strong start at home, improving to 4-0-2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and extending its home unbeaten streak to 12 games.
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Still, it was not a perfect day for United as centre-back Miles Robinson – a regular for the United States men’s national team – was stretched in the 14th minute with a non-contact leg injury. Atlanta coach Gonzalo Pineda said after the game, “I think it’s going to be a serious injury…Hopefully it won’t. Let’s see after the tests. But a very unfortunate injury. “
Cisneros put the hosts ahead in the third minute, timing his run well to stay in the game, then finished off a wonderful passing streak from Atlanta by hammering the shot under the crossbar and into the net.
It took eight minutes for the Fire (2-4-4, 10 points) to react. Xherdan Shaqiri recycled a failed clearance from a corner and whipped in a cross that deflected slightly – straight into the path of Chinonso Offor, who made no mistake and headed it home.
Cisnero scored again for the first professional double in the 27th minute to make it 2-1 for the hosts. Chicago goaltender Gabriel Slonina parried a low, hard shot from Thiago Almada directly into Cisnero’s path, which opened up when his marker slipped and fell in the box.
In the 36th minute, Cisnero made it 3-1 after getting behind the defense and rounding Slonina. It was Atlanta’s first hat trick since July 21, 2018, by Josef Martinez. Cisnero now has four goals this season.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium continues to be a house of horrors for the Fire as they again failed to take a point in Atlanta and are now 0-5 in the building and outscored 15-3.
Atlanta spent most of the second half playing from distance, dominating possessions for long stretches and withstanding the few chances that Fire managed to avoid Atlanta turnovers.
The Fire managed to enter Atlanta’s penalty box a few times during the second half, but never bothered Bobby Shuttleworth until the very end of the game.
Injury concerns continued to mount for Atlanta as Caleb Wiley, who was brought on as a second-half substitute, had to be substituted in the 81st minute.
Brooks Lennon made it 4-1 for the hosts in the first minute of stoppage time, pounced on a clearance attempt and buried it in the top corner.
Slonina finished with three saves on seven shots.
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