If you can use your feet as good as your hand’s Soccer is the game for you. But when one wheel is a bit flat due to a thigh injury you are missed and or regulated to coming off the bench. Josef Martinez the star forward returned to his starting role and played aggressively in a scoring mode which is what he does best, “score goals” five in the first three games then he slowed due to the injury. There was much to do about nothing in the first half as each team seemed to be sizing each other up or pacing themselves for a strong finish. Whatever the strategy you couldn’t blame Atlanta who was playing their fifth game in fifteen days. ATL came out the dressing room more aggressive.
Martinez in his first start since March excited the crowd with a spectacular bicycle kick that was blocked as he fell to the ground. The 44,938 fans at Bobby Dodd Stadium nearly took the roof off. That was a prelude to what was to come as he made the game-winning goal on a fancy stutter step move similar to basketball instead of dribbling you give them the right foot and kick with the left foot, to beat the goalkeeper that electrified the crowd. Josef celebrated by jumping on the fire pit as it gushed out signaling the score.
Head Coach Gerardo Tata made an impressive statement“Whenever Josef is on the field, we have expectations that he is capable of scoring and he has skills and chances inside the box that few forwards in the world have so it’s a welcome return for our team.”
It was the seventh sellout and the 7th point of the season for Martinez. Vazquez made the pass to earn the assist. Colorado gave it their best foot, but they are still in the winless column on the road (0-7). The home team crowd got a little scared going down the stretch as goalkeeper Alex Kann made a bobbling save to preserve the 1-0 victory. The win is significant for the ATL. It marked their fourth straight at home and kept the playoff buzz alive being ranked sixth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 7-7-3.