Kevin Kelsy's goal lifts FC Cincinnati past Atlanta United

Kevin Kelsy's seventh-minute goal held up for FC Cincinnati, who collected a 1-0 win over visiting Atlanta United on Wednesday.

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

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Atlanta United (3-6-3, 12 points) are mired within a seven-match (0-4-3) winless drought and were shut out for the fourth time this season.

Cincinnati set the pace early with multiple 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 the header for his second goal in as many matches.

Wednesday marked Kelsy's third match and first start in MLS. Cincinnati acquired the 19-year-old forward on a loan from Ukrainian team Shakhtar Donetsk at the end of April.

Acosta (six goals, seven assists) has factored into all but three of FC Cincinnati's 16 goals this season.

Kelsy's goal was all Cincinnati needed, as the team's stout defense took over. FC Cincinnati has allowed a league-low 10 goals in 13 matches this season.

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

Atlanta's attack was short-circuited early when Thiago Almada departed with an apparent injury in the 16th minute. Leading 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 set up Xande Silva for 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 victories have come within the last month, as Cincinnati began its five-match win streak with a 2-1 victory in Atlanta on April 20.

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