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Atlanta, Ga– The Atlanta United’s (1-1) defense was the overall factor in a 3-1 win over D.C. United (0-2). Miguel Almiron had a goal and assist to help put the game away for Atlanta.
D.C.’s defense smothered Atlanta’s offense early on forcing them to commit turnovers and making them incorporate their goalie into the offense. Atlanta struggled to get out of their own half of the field. Yet still, their defense kept D.C. from creating any type of rhythm offensively
In the 24th-minute, Darlington Nagbe led a break where he dribbled from midfield and set up Josef Martinez with a perfect pass right past goal keeper David Ousted for a wide open net goal.
In first half of the match, Atlanta prevented D.C. from attempting a single shot. “We talked about throughout the week about limiting spaces for strikers from space and timing on the ball and I think we performed well and we can build on that,” said Brad Guzan.
In the 48th-minute, there was a questionable call on Greg Garza after attempting a tackle. After going through a video review, a yellow call was issued to Garza.
D.C. came out more aggressive in the second half providing more energy. Darren Mattocks had an opportunity to tie the game when he was able to get past Atlanta’s Leandro Gonzalez Pirez. Mattocks, in the 17-inch yard box sky rocketed a shot that sailed over Guzan and the net.
After regaining a loose ball, Miguel Almiron shot a strike from 20-feet out high above the out stretch arms of Ousted and increased the lead 2-0 in the 73-minute.
Coming right back, Atlanta took advantage of having a possesion deep in D.C.’s part of the field. Almiron centered a perfect pass from the corner to Villalba who sent a header into the corner of the net in the 75th-minute.
D.C. kept fighting and forcing the action to get on the scoreboard. After a deflection inside the 17-inch yard line of Atlanta, Mattocks was able to capitalize and shoot it past Guzan for the score. “We get unlucky with a little bit of a deflection that springs in behind Leandro [Gonzalez Pirez] there,” stated Guzan