MLS SOCCER Soccer

Atlanta United defeats Club America, wins Campeones Cup

Atlanta United celebrates the 2019 Campeones Cup after defeating Liga MX Club America

ATLANTA — Behind goals by Emerson Hyndman, Jeff Larentowicz and Josef Martinez have given Atlanta United their first trophy of 2019: Campeones Cup. In front of 40,128 fans, the Five Stripes defeated Club America 3-2 Wednesday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The win by Atlanta meant that it would be the first MLS team to win Campeones Cup. It would also mean that the Five Stripes are the first MLS team to win a final against a Liga MX team since DC United defeated Toluca in the 1998 Champions Cup (Now known as the CONCACAF Champions League).

“This was a man’s game,” Atlanta United manager Frank De Boer said. “You want to have these kind of games almost every week because you saw the quality of those players from Club America and we competed very well with them.”

“…It’s good for MLS, especially good for Atlanta United, of course, that we can compete against these kind of teams. The game was, I think, fantastic to watch because it was so up and down.”

Early in the first half, at the fifth minute, Emerson Hyndman gave Atlanta an early 1-0 after Darlington Nagbe passed the ball to Dion Pereira, who then dished it to Hyndman right through the middle. Hyndman finished the play by doing a one-touch finish to the right side of the goal.

Afterwards, it was Club America who pushed their men forward as they were looking to tie the match and four minutes later, it seemed that Renato Ibarra had tied the match but his attempt hit the crossbar.

Nonetheless, Las Aguilas tied the match at the 13th minute when Roger Martinez ran past Franco Escobar and crossed it to Ibarra, who placed his shot in the upper left corner of the goal.

The following minutes saw both teams play an even, back-and-forth match where both teams had at least one opportunity to score their second of the night. 

Just before the end of the first half, Pity Martinez was knocked down in the box and the ref allowed the game to continue but after a VAR review, he signaled a penalty for Atlanta, which was taken by Josef Martinez. Josef doing his usual hop before striking the ball, let him down today as he missed his shot and an opportunity to give Atlanta the lead once again.

At the 57th minute, Roger Martinez gave Club America its first lead of the game after he scored a tap-in off a corner kick. 

But the lead by Las Aguilas was short lived as seconds later, Jeff Larentowicz scored a screamer from about 30-yards out and tied the match at two goals.

But the momentum by Atlanta would continue when Florentin Pogba was knocked down in the box and the referee awarded another penalty to Atlanta. This time though, Josef would successfully score his attempt and thus giving the Five Stripes a 3-2 lead at the 65th minute.

At the 72nd minute, Josef would break away and with one last defender in front of him, he was fouled by Bruno Valdez, to which he received his second yellow card of the night. The red card given to Valdez left Club America with 10 players for the rest of the match. 

At the end, Atlanta did enough to win its first trophy of 2019.

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