Atlanta United bested D.C. United 3-2 in a hotly contested match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Ravel Morrison and Ola Kamara found the back of the net for D.C. Brooks Lennon notched a pair of assists for Atlanta and proved once again why set pieces are so important.
It was a tale of two halves as the two “united” clubs played a snoozer of a first half and the most exciting second half either team has had all season.
With less than a minute into the second half, D.C. United broke the deadlock to take the lead. From the top of the box, Ravel Morrison launched a rocket that beat Rocco Ríos Novo.
Atlanta came up with a response just two minutes later when they scored on a set piece. From the corner, Thiago Almada sent a ball to Alan Franco who headed in the tying goal.
In the 55′, Ola Kamara connected on a beautiful cross to give D.C. United the lead once again. Seven minutes later, Brooks Lennon assisted Josef Martinez with a quality ball of his own. The back and forth continued throughout the second half, making it a more exciting contest as both bottom-placed clubs fought hard for points.
D.C. United implemented the age-old “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” when it came to their attack. Atlanta United had a vulnerability on the wings, so D.C. continuously sent long balls down the flanks, running rampant on players like Andrew Gutman and Juanjo Purata. But Purata would gain some grace from the five stripe fandom when his header gave ATL the lead in the 69th minute. Brooks Lennon notched another assist after curling in a cross that found the head of Purata.
[Brooks Lennon on how the team performed]: “Great performance. Big, massive win at home, for the guys, for our team. Now we’re three points out of the playoffs. This is a result at home that we needed.“
Atlanta United earned a crucial three points. They’ll get some much-needed rest before traveling to Philadelphia to take on the Union on Wednesday, Aug. 31.
Photos: Malcolm “X” Lewis