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Atlanta, Ga- Josef Martinez’s two goals led the Atlanta United past the New York FC to the Eastern Conference Finals.
In front of 70,526 fans, (largest post season crowd in MLS history) Atlanta makes history by clinching the franchise’s first ever series win. “It’s big. It’s one thing to get a bye and it’s another thing to take advantage of it,” stated Michael Parkhurst.
United started out as the aggressors with a few opportunities early on including a penalty drawn by Franco Escobar in the 18-yard box. It resulted in a penalty kick for Martinez who was able to kick a dart in the right corner of the net as goal keeper Sean Johnson dove left in the 25th minute for his first goal.
Atlanta’s defensemen were able to control the the backend for the most part of the first half continuously pressing causing error passes.
In the 40th-minute, Atlanta took advantage of another penalty. This time, Miguel Almiron was tackled from behind right outside the 18-yard box. For the free kick, Almiron kicked a 25-foot lazer to the high left end of the net past Johnson to push the lead 2-0.
New York struck back quickly with a header from Maxime Chanot that just got past Brad Guzan in the 45th minute. After a yellow card on Escobar, a penalty kick ricocheted off the United’s wall of defense an right to Chanot for the goal.
New York came out in the second half more aggressive and looking to score quickly. Guzan’s play was key in matching their intensity.
In particular, he made important saves back-to-back on a header from Maximiliano Moralez and another on a quick strike from Valentin Castellanos in which he had to make a diving save.
During the 78th minute, Atlanta survived a scare. Guzan, attempting to catch a ball out of the air, was undercut unintentionally by a New York defender and landed hard on the turf. After laying on the ground for five minutes, he was able to get up and continue.
Martinez solidified the match with his last goal. It was assisted from Eric Remedi who flipped the ball over the head of the defender. Martinez controlled it with his chest ahead of the defense and kicked it past Johnson to the right corner of the net in the 83rd minute.
Atlanta will play New York Red Bulls on November 25th in Atlanta. “It’s tough because I kinda wanna play but thats how the schedule work,” says Julian Gressel
Atlanta United 3, NYCFC 1 (Atlanta 4-1 on aggregate)
Shots on Target: 4-4
Corner kicks: 3-2 NYCFC
Fouls committed: 20-16 NYCFC
Saves: 3-1 Atlanta
Clearances: 21-11 Atlanta
Offside: 3-0 NYCFC
Possession: 69-31 NYCFC
Passing Accuracy: 84- NYCFC
ATL – Josef Martinez (penalty) 25’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Miguel Almirón 42’ [HIGHLIGHT]
NYC – Maxime Chanot 45’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Josef Martinez (Eric Remedi) 83’ [HIGHLIGHT]
NYC – Maxime Chanot (yellow) 7’
NYC – Yangel Herrera (yellow) 40’
ATL – Franco Escobar (yellow) 44’
ATL – Miles Robinson (yellow) 61’
NYC – Maxi Moralez (yellow) 74’
NYC – Alexander Callens (yellow) 88’
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Brad Guzan; Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst ©, Miles Robinson; Greg Garza, Eric Remedi, Darlington Nagbe, Franco Escobar; Josef Martinez, Miguel Almirón, Julian Gressel.
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, George Bello, Andrew Carleton, Kevin Kratz, Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu, Ezequiel Barco, Tito Villalba.
NYCFC STARTING LINEUP
Sean Johnson; Ben Sweat, Alexander Callens, Maxime Chanot, Anton Tinnerholm; Yangel Herrera (Valentine Castellanos – HT), Alexander Ring; Maxi Moralez; Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, Jesus Medina, David Villa ©.
Substitutes not used: Brad Stuver, Sebastien Ibeagha, Ebenezer Ofori, Ronald Matarrita, Rodney Wallace, Eloi Amagat.
Mark Geiger (referee), Matthew Nelson (assistant), Corey Rockwell (assistant), Armando Villarreal (fourth), Dave Gantar (VAR).
- Josef Martinez is 9-for-10 on penalty attempts this season. He’s 11-for-12 in his Atlanta United career.
- Josef Martinez recorded his 8th multi-goal game of the season
- With 70,526 fans in attendance at today’s Audi MLS Cup Playoff match against NYCFC, Atlanta United has surpassed one million fans to attend home matches at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this season.
- Eric Remedi recorded his 2nd assist with the club tonight
- Brad Guzan saw his playoff shutout streak end at 400 minutes. He ranks fourth in MLS Playoff history
- Michael Parkhurst made his 24th career postseason appearance and 23rd start.
- Darlington Nagbe made his 14th career postseason appearance and start.
- Brad Guzan made his seventh career postseason appearance and start.