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Atlanta- The Atlanta United (6-6-3) win again at home against Columbus Crew SC (7-9) 3-1.
The fans continued to support and boost the team as it was their sixth consecutive sellout.
From the start, Columbus got deep in to the the 17-yard box on a 2-1 charge but goalkeeper Alec Khan made a diving save to prevent the shot. In the 4′, the Crew had another chance with a shot on goal and Khan made another diving save knocking the ball on the side of the goal.
“We came a out a little bit soft and I was able to make those saves and it put us in position to win the game,” stated Kahn.
Atlanta back end defense was a little shaky as they had problems keeping Columbus out of the final third of the field.
United’s midfielder Julian Gressell had a scoring chance with only the goalkeeper between the goal but tried to center and no one was there.
In the 15′, forward Yamil Asad came up with a steal in the 17-yard box and assisted to forward Hector “Tito” Villalba for a straight on goal to put Atlanta up 1-0.
There was some physical play as the referees didn’t hold back the yellow cards issuing one to midfielder Carlos Carmona in the 21′ for a tackle.
The Crew SC got back in the game by a goal from midfielder Fedrico Higuain in the 26′ of of a misplayed save attempt from Khan.
The attack from Columbia continued as Higuain was able to get behind United defenders and had a corner shot on goal but missed wide.
At the half the game was tied 1-1. United had seven shots on goal while Crew SC had three.
In the 54′, a yellow card was issued to Asad for a tackle. Asad not making a play for the ball hit the forward high with a shoulder tackle.
Josef Martinez was subbed in at the 62′ minute and came into a large thunderous cheer from the crowd. Martinez came back on Wednesday and hadn’t played a home game since March 31st being out with a quad injury.
It was vey emotional for me to receive the the love from the Atlanta United fans when I entered into the game,” stated Martinez.
The United kept the attack going as midfielder Miguel Almiron scored off a shot that just was out the reach of the goalkeeper in the 67′. Almiron had dribbled from the final third and instead of passing to Martinez, took advantage of the spacing and scored.
Almiron was substituted by Chris McCann in the 77′. “Miggy” looked as if he was tired constantly slumped over trying to catch his breath.
Martinez took no time to get in the act by scoring in the 88′ on a high netter assisted by Kevin Kratz to seal the game 3-1. It was his second goal in the two games he’s played in.
Atlanta secured three points to put them ahead of the New York Red Bulls for sixth place in the eastern conference holding the sixth spot.
The United (21) are now one point behind Columbus (22) for for fifth place.