Lightning Strikes Thrice | Almirón Records Hat Trick
Almirón, who had two goals all season, scored a hat trick. He had recently been criticized for his lack of assertiveness on the pitch. But tonight he answered his critics. Miguel scored two goals in the first half (30th and 42nd minutes) and followed that up with a penalty kick goal at the 77th minute.
Almirón did more than score. He played stellar defense while always seeming to be in the middle of the action. His aggressive play and remarkable speed were on full display. But what stood out more than that was his passion and leadership. The Atlanta faithful took full notice. The standing ovations were well deserved for his performance.
The night got off to a rocky start. Thunderstorms delayed the start of the match by nearly an hour. Then the singer’s microphone malfunctioned during the national anthem. However, the fans jumped in to save the day by finishing the song, which was an emotionally chilling moment that was really neat to be a part of.
The game started out chippy. But Atlanta United seized control in the first half on Almirón’s two goals and never looked back. Julian Gressel added a goal in the 77th minute. United manager Tata Martino was ejected in the 52nd minute for arguing and kicking the ball on to the field. But it did not seem to matter. Atlanta United had control of the contest. Houston did add a meaningless goal in the 90th minute once the outcome was decided.
The only thing in doubt is this…is this the breakout game that we have been waiting for from #10 Miguel Almirón? The team made a heavy investment in the 23 year old Paraguayan player by reportedly paying a hefty $8.5 million in transfer fees. Tonight’s performance seemed to justify every dollar spent. Let’s hope this is the beginning of something special and that fans witnessed the birth of a shooting star.