Atlanta United defeated Montreal Impact 2-1 Saturday night in front of 44,627 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Justin Meram scored his first two goals for the club while Atlanta won its sixth-straight home match in league play.
Both sides struggled to produce a threatening chance until Atlanta broke through in the 35th minute. Pity Martínez played Meram out wide to the left where the Iraqi winger cut the ball on to his right foot and blew by Mathieu Choinière. Meram took one dribble before unleashing a scintillating shot from 25 yards out that curled perfectly into the top-right corner to hand Atlanta the 1-0 lead.
Atlanta nearly doubled its lead in the 38th minute when Eric Remedi played a long ball to Julian Gressel in the box where the German brought the ball down near the penalty spot but had his shot blocked by Rudy Camacho. The ball skipped to a trailing Martínez and the midfielder danced by an on-rushing Evan Bush and a pair of defenders, but his shot drifted just wide into the side netting.
The Impact equalized in the 50th minute. A Montreal corner was partially cleared and collected by Harry Novillo at the top of the box where he ripped a shot that was redirected in front of goal by Zakaria Diallo to level the match.
Atlanta regained the lead in the 83rd minute from a corner. Gressel took the set piece where it was headed towards the back post by Leandro González Pirez. Standing on the left side just seconds after checking into the match, Brek Shea poked the ball across the mouth of the goal where it was tapped in by Meram for his second goal.
Shots: 15-5 Atlanta
Shots on Target: 4-1 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 5-1 Atlanta
Fouls committed: 16-14 Atlanta
Clearances: 18-5 Montreal
Offside: 1-0 Montreal
Possession: 56-44 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 89-84 Atlanta
[Julian Gressel on the tough schedule with midweek games coming up] “It’s tough for sure. But you look at the schedule at the beginning of the year and you know what’s ahead. We have to be ready. The last few weeks have been nice to get time off and get some minor things taken care of. I’m feeling really good right now, and hopefully, I can stay that way. As a group, we want to continue now to win games.”
Atlanta United (9-6-2, 29 points) returns to action Wednesday, July 3 against Chicago Fire at SeatGeek Stadium (8:00 p.m. EST, FOX Sports South, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).
Photo: Courtesy of ATLUTD