Atlanta United defeated Nashville SC 2-0 Saturday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta behind two goals from Gonzalo ‘Pity’ Martinez. The five stripes looked rusty out of the gates but were quick to gel about midway through the first half. Stellar performances from George Bello and Eric Remedi supplemented Atlanta’s dominance tonight.
George Bello played high in attack, keeping pressure on the left wing. Around 20 minutes in, he beat his defender in the attacking third and sent a beautiful low cross to Brooks Lennon. Lennon had more time than he realized and rushed an attempt that rolled straight to the keeper.
In the 40’ minute, Eric Remedi sent a beautiful long-ball to Pity Martinez down the left flank. Martinez cut inside, dribbled past Walker Zimmerman, and bested goalkeeper Joe Willis to score his first goal since September 2019.
George Bello had an amazing night playing high in attack, keeping pressure on the left wing. You could see his confidence throughout the match with his clean tackles, high press, and his 1 v 1 footwork. You could see he was really in the zone in the second half when he nutmegged a defender, only to turnaround and cleanly block a shot attempt a minute later.
In the 77’ minute, he was brought down out of bounds by Nashville’s Anibal Godoy and he didn’t back down. His fearlessness and tenacity at just 18-years-of-age is impressive.
Pity Martinez sealed the match with his second goal in the 86’ minute. Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres was on the breakaway with one defender to beat. Mo Adams came streaking down the left flank in support. Torres laid the ball off to Adams who halted play so Martinez could penetrate the box. Once in position, Adams sent a soft pass his direction and Martinez one-timed a rocket past the goalkeeper.
Nashville had one solid chance to steal the clean sheet from Atlanta in extra time. A shot came in from point-blank range but Brad Guzan put a paw on it and cleared it outside the box.
With the win, Stephen Glass gets his first win as interim manager, Brad Guzan gets his first clean sheet of the season, George Bello impressed, Pity Martinez has found his form once again, and the MLS is Back Tournament is now a distant memory.
Atlanta United will hit the road to face Inter Miami CF Wednesday, August 26, at 8:00 pm, on Fox Sports South.
Photo: Courtesy of ATLUTD