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TORONTO, Ontario (Oct. 28, 2018) — Atlanta United fell to Toronto FC 4-1 on Sunday night at BMO Field. Golden Boot winner Josef Martinez cut into a two-goal deficit with his 31st goal of the season in the 77th minute, but as Atlanta searched for an equalizer, Toronto added a pair of goals in the final 10 minutes to ice the match.
“Even though in the second half we tried a little more, I saw a team that didn’t play the football that we had played up until two or three weeks ago,” said head coach Tata Martino. “We have to recover that [form] if we want to have a chance in the playoffs.”
Toronto struck in the ninth minute to take the lead. Off a giveaway in the Atlanta half, Lucas Janson dribbled into the box and delivered a right-footed shot that redirected off of an Atlanta defender and into the back of the net.
Toronto doubled the lead 12 minutes later from Marco Delgado. Near the edge of the box, Jonathan Osorio dribbled out of pressure before finding Delgado alone on the right. After taking a touch, Delgado hammered a ball toward the far post, passed a diving Brad Guzan.
In the 76th minute, Julian Gressel played Darlington Nagbe through a pair of Toronto defenders and was ultimately taken down inside of the box by Ashtone Morgan. Martinez stepped up and slotted the attempt into the left corner.
Toronto scored a pair of goals late, both on the counterattack. Janson finished off his brace to make it 3-1 before Giovinco iced it five minutes later.
Atlanta United finished the 2018 MLS Regular Season with a record of 21-7-6 (69 points) and is the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta will open its run in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday, Nov. 4. Atlanta will travel to face third-seeded NYCFC if it beats sixth-seeded Philadelphia Union. However, if the Union defeat NYCFC, Atlanta will face the winner of D.C. United/Columbus Crew SC. Atlanta will then host the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 11. Official kick-off times and broadcast information will be released at a later time.
Toronto FC 4, Atlanta United 1
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Shots: 17-10 Atlanta
Shots on Target: 7-2 Toronto
Corner kicks: 3-1 Atlanta
Fouls committed: 11-10 Atlanta
Saves: 3-1 Atlanta
Clearances: 19-6 Toronto
Possession: 57-43 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 80-73 Atlanta
TOR – Lucas Janson 9’ [HIGHLIGHT]
TOR – Marco Delgado (Jonathan Osorio) 21’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Josef Martinez (penalty) 77’ [HIGHLIGHT]
TOR – Lucas Janson (Sebastian Giovinco, Michael Bradley) 83’ [HIGHLIGHT]
TOR – Sebatian Giovinco (Jay Chapman) 88’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Brad Guzan; Chris McCann (Greg Garza – 28’), Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst ©, Franco Escobar; Eric Remedi, Darlington Nagbe, Jeff Larentowicz (Tito Villalba – HT); Ezequiel Barco (Romario Williams – 70’), Josef Martinez, Julian Gressel.
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu, Miles Robinson, Kevin Kratz.
TORONTO FC STARTING LINEUP
Alex Bono; Ashtone Morgan (Jason Hernandez – 90+1’), Chris Mavinga, Gregory van der Wiel, Justin Morrow; Jonathan Osorio (Jay Chapman – 84’), Michael Bradley ©, Nick Hagglund; Marco Delgado, Sebastian Giovinco, Lucas Janson.
Substitutes not used: Clint Irwin, Liam Fraser, Ryan Telfer, Jordan Hamilton, Jon Bakero.
Jair Marrufo (referee), Adam Garner (assistant), Jeffrey Greeson (assistant), Alejandro Mariscal (fourth), Geoff Gamble (VAR).
- Atlanta became the second team in league history to score 70+ goals in back-to-back seasons.
- Jeff Larentowicz appeared in his 391st career game, good for fourth place all-time in MLS history by a field player. He’s one behind Brad Davis for third place.
- Larentowicz also started his 371st career MLS game, also ranking in fourth place in MLS history by a field player. He’s one behind Steve Ralston for third place.