Atlanta United Upends New England 1-0
United Advances to Second Round
Escobar Scores Winning Goal
Atlanta, GA – The defending MLS champs won its first-round playoff game on Saturday afternoon at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Atlanta United scored the only goal of the match to defeat the New England Revolution 1-0.
The lone goal of the match was scored by Franco Escobar. In the 70th minute, he went top shelf by drilling the ball over the head of the goalkeeper. He was setup with a beautiful assist from Ezequiel Barco. Primarily a defensive back, Escobar scored just his second goal of the season.
The story of the game was the defense. Brad Guzan made six saves total and held the Revolution scoreless. It was Guzan’s 15th shutout of the season. He tied for the MLS regular season lead with 14.
The biggest question mark heading into the match was how Atlanta United would fare without Miles Robinson, who is a candidate for MLS defender of the year. Robinson pulled his hamstring the prior week while on duty with the US men’s national team. The team turned to a familiar face, its captain, Michael Parkhurst. He, along with Escobar and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, combined on the backline to help shut out New England.
It wasn’t all good news for Atlanta. In extra time, Parkhurst appeared to suffer a dislocated shoulder. This injury may sideline Parkhurst for the next match. Assuming Robinson and Parkhurst are unavailable, the United will once again have to tweak its starting eleven.
With the win, Atlanta advances to the second round of the playoffs on Thursday. United will face the winner of New York Red Bulls and Philadelphia Union. The game will be a home match for Atlanta, as it is the highest seed of that group.
Attendance was announced as 66,114.