ATLANTA – A new-look FC Cincinnati starting lineup didn't look ready for the challenge a surging Atlanta United posed.
Hosting an FC Cincinnati side with Luciano Acosta, Geoff Cameron and other regular starters on the bench, Atlanta United scored early and ran away with the match by the early second half on Wednesday at Mercedes Benz Stadium.
Atlanta triumphed, 4-0, and moved into the Eastern Conference playoff positions with the win, which was its fifth in the last six matches.
An announced crowd of 42,501 attended the match.
Josef Martinez scored twice but it was Luiz Araujo's opener in the fifth minute that set the tone for the game.
Araujo beat four FC Cincinnati defenders on an individual run made for highlight reels.
Martinez scored in the 40th and 55th minutes. The first of those goals put an end to a threatening period of play in which FC Cincinnati looked like it might equalize.
The goal in the 55th minute cemented the win for the hosts, and Ezequiel Barco added a free-kick goal in the 86th minute to cement FCC's misery.
Cincinnati, which dropped to 4-11-8, fell to 14 points back of the playoff positions in the East. If the playoffs weren't out of question prior to the Atlanta match, FCC was more than likely ruled out from a late-season playoff push with the loss.
Eleven matches remain in the season for FC Cincinnati.
Starting on the bench for FC Cincinnati in the game were Acosta, the team's leading offensive contributor, along with Cameron, Yuya Kubo and Alvaro Barreal.
The club plays again Saturday against New York City FC at TQL Stadium.