Atlanta United defeated CF Montreal 1-0 Saturday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in front of a capacity crowd. The late-stage heroics came from a Marcelino Moreno header in stoppage time to earn the five stripes a crucial three points. They not only walk away with a win, but with a new record as well. The victory was earned in front of 40,116 fans, the highest attendance for a soccer match in the world since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
As has been the theme so far this season, Atlanta had dominated possession the entire night (63%-37%) but had failed to convert their efforts into goals.
There was a good chance in the 6′ minute with an Erik Lopez header. Marcelino Moreno sent a long ball from the center half into the penalty area and found Erik López. López timed his run just right and sent a header on frame to his near side, but CF Montreal’s Clément Diop made a diving save to keep the scoreline even at nil-nil.
Atlanta appeared to have scored in the 51′ minute when Josef Martínez played Emerson Hyndman into the box on the right side and the midfielder calmly finished with a low shot past Diop, but he was ruled offside.
Shots: 10-10 tied
Shots on Target: 2-2 tied
Corner kicks: 5-3 Atlanta
Fouls committed: 15-15 tied
Offside: 2-2 tied
Possession: 63-37 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 88-83 Atlanta
In stoppage time, Jake Mulraney sent a beautiful cross to Marcelino Moreno, whose header beat the Diop to seal the victory. Mulraney was the true difference maker in tonight’s match. He made an immediate impact after coming on in the 78′ minute for Erik López. Usually, he tends to dribble too much and make errant crosses from time to time. Tonight, he was able to find open space on the wing, putting defenders in awkward positions, and immediately looked to cross when players flooded the box. The effort marked Mulraney’s second assist of the season.
“It (the goal) means a lot because it was a goal that gave us three points tonight,” said Moreno post-match. “I know it was important because as a team, we fought and never gave up on our ideas.”
Atlanta (2-1-2, 8 points) returns to action Sunday, May 23 against Seattle Sounders FC at Lumen Field (4:30 p.m. ET, FOX, FOX Deportes, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).
Photo: Courtesy of ATLUTD