After a terrible showing in Costa Rica, Atlanta United roared back to a convincing 4-Nil win over rival club Herediano at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in front of 8,589 fans.
To open the night, Josef Martinez wasted no time getting on the score sheet by scoring 48 seconds into the match. This was followed by Julian Gressel hammering a goal in the 9th minute. The third goal was from Joseph in the 63rd minute and the last was a header from defender Leandro González-Pirez. The overall team performance was a clear 360 from last week in Costa Rica.
The man of the match was Ezequiel Barco for his clear vision, two assists on the night and good overall ball control. The Strong runner up was Brek Shea. The way Brek controlled his side of the pitch, his runs, and his overall hustle, I was thoroughly impressed.
Atlanta dominated the entire game by having 60% possession to 40% from Herediano. The Costa Rican side never really got anything started. After the first goal, the team seemed shellshocked. They lacked possession and when they went to attack lacked creativity.
Along with this win, Atlanta United has secured their ticket to the next round of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League to face the Liga MX powerhouse Monterrey. This duel of heavyweights should be exciting and a true test for Atlanta. The series with Monterrey begins next Wednesday, March 13 or Thursday, March 14 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Atlanta’s next match is this Sunday, March 3, to open MLS league play against DC United in Washington D.C.
Shots: 18-7 Atlanta
Shots on Target: 8-3 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 3-3
Fouls committed: 15-13 Atlanta
Clearances: 16-11 Atlanta
Offside: 2-1 Atlanta
Possession: 60-40 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 85-79 Atlanta
ATL – Josef Martinez 1’
ATL – Julian Gressel (Ezequiel Barco) 9’
ATL – Josef Martinez (Brek Shea, Eric Remedi) 63’
ATL – Leandro González Pirez (Ezequiel Barco) 83’
ATL – Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (yellow) 19’
ATL – Pity Martinez (yellow) 37’
CSH – Gerson Torres (yellow) 74’
Photo: Courtesy of ATLUTD