Atlanta United fell 2-1 to New England Revolution Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. Josef Martínez scored a second-half equalizer, but it wasn’t enough to get a result in their last road match of the season.
After hitting the woodwork once in the 12th minute and again in the 16th, New England was awarded a penalty by referee Armando Villareal in the 31st minute after Giacomo Vrioni was brought down in the Atlanta box. The Albanian international stepped up to take the spot kick and tucked his shot to Raúl Gudiño’s left for his first MLS goal.
After nearly 50 minutes of trying to find a response, it came in extravagant fashion through Martínez. Marcelino Moreno found Brooks Lennon in space on the edge of the penalty area. Lennon sent a beautiful cross to an unmarked Josef Martinez who scored on a bicycle kick for his ninth goal of the season.
Gustavo Bou and the Revolution answered back quickly in the 85th minute. Carles Gil found the Argentine isolated with a pass toward the back post. Bou then took one touch before passing the ball into the back of the net.
Today’s loss kills any playoff hopes the five stripes may have had. When the day started, the club had a less than 10% chance of making the playoffs, but that percentage hinged on them winning on the road.
In a season to forget, defender Andrew Gutman commented on what went wrong this season with the club failing to make the playoffs:
“A lot of things, I think. The biggest one for us, I think, is the lack of cohesiveness in the lineup. There were a lot of injuries, a lot of players in and out of the lineup. You saw these last few games especially when the lineup was consistent, and we were able to gel and connect better. For me, that’s the biggest thing. We weren’t able to get a starting XI and routine subs in for many games in a row.”
Atlanta (10-13-10, 40 points) returns to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia for the final match of the regular season against New York City FC on Decision Day, Sunday, Oct. 9 (3:30 p.m., TBD, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game, La Mejor).
Photo: Courtesy of ATL UTD