Atlanta United defeated FC Motagua 3-0 Tuesday night at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Leg Two of its Round of 16 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League matchup. Pity Martinez scored two goals while Josef Martinez tallied once and added two assists. Atlanta won 4-1 on aggregate and advanced to the quarterfinals where it will face either Club América or Comunicaciones.
Atlanta United controlled the match from the start and consistently pressured Motagua’s goal. Pity Martinez combined with Josef Martinez to create several chances before finally breaking through in the 40th minute. Franco Escobar won a ball in the midfield and passed to Pity who one-timed a pass to Josef in a give-and-go on the edge of the 18-yard box. Josef back-heeled the ball to Pity who took one touch into the box before unleashing a left-footed strike into the bottom right corner.
Josef Martinez doubled Atlanta’s lead in the second half. Brooks Lennon won a header in the midfield and it fell to Josef Martinez, who laid it off to Pity Martinez before making a run towards goal. Pity sent a through ball into the right side of the box for Josef as goalkeeper Jonathan Rougier rushed out. Martinez took one touch by Rougier and passed the ball into an empty net.
Pity Martinez scored his second of the match in the 83rd minute. Barco played a bouncing ball to Josef Martinez on the edge of the penalty area where the Venezuelan was leveled by Rougier who attempted to clear the ball. Referee Keylor Herrera Villalobos signed for play to continue, which allowed Pity Martinez to gather the loose ball, dribble between a pair of defenders and finish with a right-footed shot into the middle of the goal.
Atlanta will travel to face winner of the Club América and Comunicaciones matchup between March 10-12. It will host the return leg between March 17-19 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. It opens MLS play this weekend at Nashville SC on Saturday, Feb. 29 (8:00 p.m. EST, FOX, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).
Photo: Hakim Wright