Moreno’s Late Goal Pushes Atlanta United Past D.C. United 2-1 In The Nations Capital

Atlanta United earn their fourth straight win after taking three points on the road against D.C. United winning 2-1. Marcelino Moreno and Josef Martinez etched their names on the scoresheet while Brad Guzan had five saves on the night.

In the 25th minute, Marcelino Moreno sent a through ball to Josef Martinez who slotted it home down the side netting.

In the 39th minute, Ola Kamara had a chance to pull one back when Julian Gressel sent a low cross into the box. The pass took a deflection and landed at the feet of Kamara but he skied it over the bar. 39’

Just before the half, Josef Martinez was clipped by goalkeeper Jon Kempin in the box, preventing a clear opportunity on goal. The Venezuelan fell to the pitch writhing in pain but no penalty was given. This was added to the long list of questionable no-calls from referee Nima Saghafi.

Atlanta was caught off guard when D.C. United scored their first goal. Yordy Reyna took a free kick near the corner but went for goal instead of crossing it. As the ball swerved, it beat Brad Guzan at the far post to draw the game level.

Rob gave a lot of confidence to the group.”

Brad Guzan on what Rob Valentino did to change the team’s trajectory

Late in the 80th minute, Luiz Araújo laid a ball off to Josef Martinez in a 2 v 1 with the goalkeeper. With Martinez leaning to his left, he fired a low effort to the keeper’s near side and was blocked at the last possible second for a corner kick. But just two minutes later, Marcelino Moreno ran away with the game winner. Running to his right, just outside the 18, Moreno shot low and through traffic, across goal, to beat Jon Kempin to take the lead.

Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez #7 scores the first goal of the match against D.C. United at Audi Field in Washington, District of Columbia on Saturday August 21, 2021. (Photo by Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United)

D.C. United had a hand full of chances after that but were unable to pull one back. Reyna continued to be dangerous in their attack but

“I’m focused on this group and I haven’t thought about anything but the next game,” said Rob Valentino when asked about coaching goals and moving forward. “I have a lot to learn and let’s see where it goes but I like being at this club.” After that he thanked us as media for our coverage of the team and for supporting him as a coach.

Tonight marks the last match with Rob Valentino at the helm. When Valentino took over, the club was winless in eight matches. With him at the head, they’ve won four straight. Incoming head coach Gonzalo Pineda has previously stated that he has no plans on changing tactics since what’s being used is working and he plans on retaining Rob’s services.

Atlanta United will get a short break thanks to the MLS All-Star Game midweek. The five stripes will play their next four matches at home, giving them a massive opportunity to makeup points and move further up the ladder into prime playoff positioning.

Atlanta will host Nashville next Saturday, August 28, at 3:30PM ET.

-Jon J.

Photo: Courtesy of ATLUTD

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