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ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 24, 2018) — Josef Martinez broke Major League Soccer’s single-season scoring record with his 28th goal in Atlanta United’s 2-1 win against Orlando City SC Friday night at Orlando City Stadium. Martinez also scored in his ninth-straight match, tying the MLS record for most consecutive matches with a goal.
With a tie score of 1-1, Martinez made history in the 74th minute on a play which began with a give-and-go between Tito Villalba and Julian Gressel in Atlanta’s half of the field. Gressel received a pass on the right side and cut back through the midfield. He found Martinez unmarked on the left side where the Golden Boot leader took one touch inside the box, cut back on his right foot and chipped the ball over Orlando goalkeeper Joe Bendik to break the record.
Atlanta applied heavy pressure from the outset and found the game’s breakthrough from a set piece in the 21st minute. Ezequiel Barco took a free kick that flew just over the head of Martinez and called Bendik into action. Bendik chested the ball into the path of Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, whose shot hit the goalkeeper, ricocheted back off Pirez and finally rolled into the net to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead.
Orlando equalized in the 39th minute after a nice build up down the right side. Chris Mueller passed to Will Johnson inside the penalty area where he backheeled the ball for Scott Sutter, who rushed into the box and drove a shot into the top-left corner.
Orlando almost found a second equalizer in the 79th off a corner. Johnson struck the ball at the near post for Dom Dwyer who headed the ball back toward the far post, but Brad Guzan pushed the ball out for a corner with his left hand. The win was Guzan’s 15th of the season and broke his previous single-season record of 14 wins set with Chivas USA in 2007.
Atlanta United (16-4-6, 54 points) returns to action next Sunday, Sept. 2 when it travels to play D.C. United (8:00 p.m., FS1, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).