There are two things that make tonight’s win sweeter than normal: The manner in which we won and the fact the lads can finally come home.
It felt good to get a clean, enforcing win tonight. With every game that passes, Tito Villalba’s runs are getting deadlier. His first start at striker after Josef Martinez went down, I had my doubts. But he has consistently made his runs sharper week in and week out to where I feel comfortable with him and/or Kenwyne Jones leading the charge up front.
“The key tonight is that we capitalized on our opportunities,” Atlanta head coach Tata Martino said. “We had chances to score when we pressured them and forced them to make mistakes. Other than that, it was a very even game.”
Brandon Vasquez got his first MLS minutes when he came in for Kenwyne Jones, but what was more impressive was his stoppage time goal that sealed the win for Atlanta United. Tito Villalba and Yamil Asad contributed to the goal tally for the evening. You can see them below.
Shots: 11-9 Real Salt Lake
Shots on Target: 6-2 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 4-3 Real Salt Lake
Fouls committed: 14-6 Atlanta
Saves: 3-1 Real Salt Lake
Clearances: 18-9 Atlanta
Offside: 5-1 Atlanta
Possession: 55-45 Real Salt Lake
Passing Accuracy: 71-67 Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake cut into Atlanta’s lead in the 69th minute when Albert Rusnák found space near the edge of the penalty box and perfectly placed a shot inside of the far post to beat a diving Alec Kann.
After four consecutive road matches, Atlanta returns home to face D.C. United on Sunday, April 30 at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. and will be televised nationally on FOX Sports 1.
Photos courtesy of Atlanta United (Eric Rossitch)