Atlanta United Conquers Minnesota
Martinez Scores Two Goals
Atlanta, GA – After two straight losses on the road, Atlanta United triumphed at home Wednesday night in the friendly confines of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Atlanta earned a hard-fought victory over Minnesota United, halting its two game win streak.
Atlanta struck midway through the first half. At the 23’ mark, Franco Escobar torched a shot past a defender and the goalkeeper to notch his first goal of the year. The ball came courtesy of a deflection off another Minnesota defender.
The 1-0 lead would be tested in the second half. Minnesota had multiple shots at point blank range, but Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan had an amazing three-save sequence. That effort helped propel Guzan to another clean sheet, his seventh of the year, which is one off the total from the previous season.
Atlanta’s lead would grow in stoppage time. Josef Martinez tacked on both goals, his 7th and 8th of the season, to lead the team in that category. Julian Gressel was credited with the assist on the first of Martinez’s goals. The final two goals showed a killer instinct to put the game away, something that had been missing in the early part of the season but was a key attribute of the prior year’s championship team.
With the win, Atlanta moves in to fourth place in the Eastern Conference, just three points behind conference leader D.C. United in the standings. Atlanta United returns to action Saturday, June 1st to face Eastern conference foe Chicago at home.
Notes…Atlanta was missing two key contributors. Ezequiel Barco missed another match as he continues to represent his home country Argentina in the U-20 World Cup…Tito Villalba missed his second consecutive match after injuring his knee against the NY Red Bulls…attendance for the game was announced at 42,703.