Atlanta United defeated LD Alajuelense 1-0 Tuesday night at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Leg Two of its Round of 16 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League (SCCL) matchup, advancing to the Quarterfinals on an aggregate score of 2-0. Atlanta became the second MLS team to advance to the Quarterfinals in three consecutive years during the current era of the tournament (since 2008).
Jürgen Damm scored the game’s lone goal, and his first with Atlanta United, in the first minute of stoppage time. In his first appearance of the season, Marcelino Moreno played a through ball to Ezequiel Barco down the left side of the field which created a two-on-one situation with Alajuelense goalkeeper Mauricio Vargas. Barco attempted to round Vargas, but his touch went into the path of Damm, who easily tapped in the goal.
Atlanta controlled the game throughout the night, dominating possession and out-shooting Alajuelense 15-7. Nine of Atlanta’s 15 shots came in the second half, with five going on target. Moreno and Barco paced the team in shots with four a piece, while Damm, who entered the game at halftime, led all players with two shots on target and five crosses.
Shots: 15-7 Atlanta
Shots on Target: 5-1 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 5-5
Fouls committed: 14-10 Atlanta
Offside: 3-0 Atlanta
Possession: 67-33 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 88-73 Atlanta
Along with tonight’s win, Jürgen Damm scored his first goal with Atlanta United. The club became the second MLS team to advance to the quarterfinals for the third consecutive year during the current era of SCCL and their clean sheet marked the first time Atlanta opened its season with back-to-back shutouts.
“Playing these two competitive games before our first MLS game is so good mentally for us and physically as well,” said Atlanta United’s Brooks Lennon. “To play in real, meaningful games and to qualify for the next round is big time for us.It definitely helps a lot.”
Atlanta will face the winner of Philadelphia Union vs. Saprissa, which the Union currently leads 1-0 after the first leg. Atlanta’s Leg One match of the Quarterfinals will be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium the week of April 26.
Photo: Courtesy of ATLUTD