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Atlanta United Defeats Chicago Fire 2-1, Extends Unbeaten Streak To Eight
Photo courtesy of Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta United Defeats Chicago Fire 2-1, Extends Unbeaten Streak To Eight

ATLANTA (May 5, 2018) — Atlanta United defeated Chicago Fire 2-1 Saturday night at Toyota Park behind a pair of second-half goals from Ezequiel Barco and Josef Martinez. It was Martinez’s seventh goal of the season, which leads all of MLS, while Barco scored the first goal of his Atlanta career. With the win, Atlanta ran its unbeaten streak to eight consecutive matches, equaling the longest unbeaten streak in club history, and jumped into first place in the Supporters’ Shield race with 22 points from nine matches.

After an even first half, Atlanta opened the scoring in the 53rd minute. Miguel Almirón won the ball back in the attacking half, dribbled towards the penalty area and played in a streaking Barco on the left side of the box, who struck a left-footed shot first time and past Chicago goalkeeper Richard Sanchez. Just four minutes later, Greg Garza split the Chicago defense and found a cutting Darlington Nagbe at the edge of the six-yard box, where the midfielder calmly laid the ball off to Martinez who tapped in the game-winner.

Quickly after Atlanta’s second goal, Chicago got on the board in the 61st minute when Kevin Ellis scored for the home side. Atlanta was forced to defend in the final 20 minutes, repeatedly clearing waves of crosses as Chicago sent balls into the box in search of an equalizer. The group defended well and Atlanta held on for its third road victory of the season.

Atlanta United (7-1-1, 22 points) returns to action at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Wednesday, May 9, against Sporting Kansas City (7:30 p.m., FOX Sports South).

 

MATCH RESOURCES

 

LINE SCORE

Atlanta United 2, Chicago Fire 1

Toyota Park

Bridgeview, Illinois

 

STATS

Shots: 14-10 Chicago

Shots on Target: 6-3 Atlanta

Corner kicks: 4-1 Chicago

Fouls committed: 10-8 Chicago

Saves: 4-2 Chicago

Clearances: 24-9 Atlanta

Offside: 5-2 Atlanta

Possession: 50-50

Passing Accuracy: 80-80

 

SCORING SUMMARY

ATL- Ezequiel Barco 53’ (Miguel Almirón) HIGHLIGHT

ATL – Josef Martinez 59’ (Darlington Nagbe, Greg Garza) HIGHLIGHT

CHI- Kevin Ellis 61’

 

DISCLIPINARY SUMMARY

CHI- Johan Kappelhof (yellow) 24’

ATL- Leandro González Pirez (yellow) 65’

ATL- Ezequiel Barco (yellow) 73’

CHI-Grant Lillard (yellow) 80’

ATL-Tito Villalba (yellow) 90+5’

 

ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP

Brad Guzan; Leandro González Pirez, Michael Parkhurst ©, Franco Escobar (Miles Robinson 90+1); Greg Garza, Jeff Larentowicz, Darlington Nagbe, Miguel Almirón, Julian Gressel; Josef Martinez (Kevin Kratz 72’), Ezequiel Barco (Tito Villalba 81’).

Substitutes not used: Paul Christensen, Brandon Vazquez, Romario Williams, Sal Zizzo.

 

CHICAGO FIRE STARTING LINEUP

Richard Sanchez; Johan Kapplehof, Kevin Ellis, Grant Lillard (Jonathan Cambell 81’), Brandon Vincent, Elliot Collier (Diego Campos 59’), Aleksander Katai, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mohammed Adams (Alan Gordon 59’), Dax McCarty, Nemanja Nikolic.

Substitutes not used: Patrick McLain, Daniel Johnson, Brandt Bronico, , Tony Tchani.

 

ATTENDANCE

15, 024

 

OFFICIALS

Drew Fischer (referee), Apolinar Mariscal (assistant), Chris Wattam (assistant), Rubiel Vazquez (fourth), Younes Marrakchi (VAR).

 

TEAM NOTES

  • Jeff Larentowicz started his 347th career MLS game, which is sixth place all-time in league history by a field player.
  • Larentowicz also appeared in his 366th career game, which ties him with Bobby Boswell for sixth all time.
  • Josef Martinez scored his league-leading seventh goal this season.
  • Ezequiel Barco scored his first goal for the club.
  • Miguel Almirón recorded his fifth assist of the season

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