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ATLANTA (March 17, 2018) — Josef Martinez recorded his fourth career hat-trick, carrying Atlanta United to a 4-1 defeat of Vancouver Whitecaps FC Saturday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in front 45,003 fans. Despite playing in just his 23rd career game, Martinez is now one shy of the league’s all-time mark, held by four different players.
Atlanta’s first opportunity came on a free kick in the eighth minute. Franco Escobar pounced on a loose ball inside of the box, but his attempt was saved by Stefan Marinovic. However, during the play, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez appeared to have been elbowed by Vancouver’s Kendall Waston. The play went to video review, which issued a red card Waston and awarded Atlanta a penalty. Martinez calmly slotted the attempt with a shot to Marinovic’s left.
Atlanta went into halftime with a 1-0 lead, although it could have added a couple more as nine of its 10 shot attempts did not hit the target. The club also dominated the half with 70 percent possession.
Atlanta doubled the lead in the 58th minute with an own goal from Aaron Maund. Julian Gressel crossed a ball into the box that left Maund with few options; however, his clearance attempt went directly into the back of the net. Atlanta made it 3-0 minutes later as Martinez scored his second goal of the game off of a counterattack.
He finished off his hat-trick in the 88th minute with a beautiful cross from late substitute Andrew Carleton. Vancouver had scored three minutes before in the 85th minute from Erik Hurtado.
Atlanta United (2-1-0, 6 points) returns to action on Saturday, March 31 against Minnesota United at TCF Bank Stadium (8 p.m. EST, FOX Sports South).
Atlanta United 4, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1
Shots: 21-5 Atlanta
Shots on Target: 4-2 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 7-2 Atlanta
Fouls committed: 14-8 Atlanta
Clearances: 22-10 Vancouver
Offside: 4-1 Vancouver
Possession: 72-28 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 93-77 Atlanta
ATL – Josef Martinez (penalty) 15’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Aaron Maund (own goal) 58’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Josef Martinez (Miguel Almirón) 60’ [HIGHLIGHT]
VAN – Erik Hurtado (Jordon Mutch) 85’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Josef Martinez (Andrew Carleton, Julian Gressel) 88’ [HIGHLIGHT]
VAN – Kendall Waston (red) 13’
VAN – Efrain Juarez (yellow) 13’
ATL – Jeff Larentowicz (yellow) 45+3
VAN – Jose Aja (yellow) 60’
VAN – Yordy Reyna (yellow) 73’
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Brad Guzan; Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst, Franco Escobar; Chris McCann, Jeff Larentowicz (Kevin Kratz – 60’), Darlington Nagbe, Miguel Almirón, Julian Gressel; Tito Villalba (Andrew Carleton – 78’), Josef Martinez (Romario Williams – 90’).
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Miles Robinson, Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu, Greg Garza.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC STARTING LINEUP
Stefan Marinovic; Jose Aja, Aaron Maund, Kendall Waston ©, Jacob Nerwinski; Alphonso Davies, Felipe, Efrain Juarez (Yordy Reyna – 66’), Jordon Mutch; Anthony Blondell (Erik Hurtado – 55’), Nicolas Mezquida (Brek Shea – HT).
Substitutes not used: Brian Rowe, Russell Teibert, Sean Franklin, Cristian Techera.
Ismail Elfath (referee), Matthew Nelson (assistant), Adam Garner (assistant), Rubiel Vazquez (fourth), Juan Guzman Jr. (VAR).
- Jeff Larentowicz started his 341st career MLS game. He’s alone for seventh place all-time in league history by a field player.
- Larentowicz also appeared in his 360th game, which is good for ninth place all-time in league history.
- It was the second consecutive game Atlanta held its opponent without a shot on target in the first half. Atlanta also did it last week against D.C. United.
- Josef Martinez scored his fourth hat trick of his MLS career, one shy of tying the all-time record for most hat tricks in an MLS career
- Martinez scored his second, third and fourth goals of the season
- Martinez recorded his sixth multi-goal game of his Atlanta United career, his first this season
- Martinez scored his third penalty kick goal with Atlanta United, he is the club’s all-time leader in penalty kick goals
- Andrew Carleton made his second-consecutive appearance, his third overall in MLS, when he entered as a substitute in the 78th minute
- Carleton recorded his first career assist
- Atlanta United improved its regular-season record at Mercedes-Benz Stadium to 7-1-2
- The club’s overall home record is 13-3-3
- The team’s goal differential at Mercedes-Benz Stadium improved to +23. Atlanta United has scored 33 goals while conceding 10