Atlanta United finally moved into their new home Sunday, September 10 to host Western Conference foe FC Dallas. Their home opener in Mercedes-Benz Stadium was a sellout at 45,314.
FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez brought down Josef Martinez while trying to cut off his line in the box. It was initially called a penalty and Gonzalez was given a yellow card, but after video review, the referee determined that Martinez was offside and the penalty kick was rescinded.
The first goal at ‘the Benz’ was tapped in by Leandro Gónzalez-Pirez in the 14′. The initial header from Miguel Almirón was blocked by Dallas keeper Jesse Gonzalez but Gonzalez-Pirez was close by for the tap in goal.
The second half displayed more fluidity for Atlanta’s offense. The passes and movement on attack were tighter and much more consistent. They were a constant threat in the final third and FC Dallas didn’t have an answer.
United favorite Josef Martinez doubled the lead right after halftime with Atlanta forcing a quick turnover before breaking toward goal. Almirón crossed for Martinez, who easily drilled one into the back of the net for his 10th goal of the season, tying a team lead.*Martinez continued to be a part of the goal scoring as he laid off a low cross from
Martinez continued to be a part of the goal scoring as he laid off a low cross from Tito Villalba to allow Greg Garza an open opportunity on goal in the 68′. There could’ve been a fourth goal from Almirón but his long distance try clanged off the crossbar.
Shots: 19-10 Atlanta
Shots on Target: 12-2 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 4-5 FC Dallas
Fouls committed: 13-11 Atlanta
Saves: 8-2 FC Dallas
Clearances: 19-9 Atlanta
Offside: 4-2 Atlanta
Possession: 54-46 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 81-79 Atlanta
Atlanta United manager Tata Martino was more than pleased with his club’s performance on the night. “It feels good. We’re very happy as always with the support of our fans and we’re happy to have played for the first time in this wonderful stadium and furthermore to have played well and (have) won the game.”
The Five Stripes will have quite the home stretch over the next few weeks with a massive 6 games in 17 days at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. “It is going to be difficult,” Michael Parkhurst said in reference to fatigue over the home stretch. “Guys (are taking) ice baths right now. Tomorrow, hopefully, we will be able to train and get a good recovery session in.”
Atlanta United (11-8-6, 39 points) returns to action Wednesday, Sept. 13 against New England Revolution. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and will be televised on FOX Sports South.