MLS SOCCER

Atlanta United dominates in 4-0 victory in Kennesaw

Josef Martinez scores a goal for AtlUTD

Atlanta United dominates in 4-0 victory in Kennesaw

KENNESAW — After a disastrous performance a week ago in Costa Rica, the Five Stripes dominated the second leg against CS Herediano, cruising to a 4-0 (5-3 aggregate) victory at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. With the win, Atlanta United will face Monterrey (Mexico) in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. Monterrey defeated Alianza (El Salvador) 1-0 in the team’s round of 16 matchups.

“We couldn’t had started better than scoring after 45 seconds, we did more of what we had talked about in practice during this game,” Atlanta United manager Frank De Boer said. “I have looked at the stat sheet, and I saw that Eric Remedi and Darlington Nagbe were the two players that had the most touches from our team, and that’s what I want to see. I don’t want to see the centerfielders because if Remedi and Nagbe have the most touches, then that means that we are controlling the midfield.”

On Thursday night, the Five Stripes got off to a quick start by scoring two goals within the first 10 minutes of the match. Venezuelan striker Josef Martinez opened the scoreboard for United after just 45 seconds of the initial whistle. The following minutes saw Atlanta pressure Herediano on their side of the field, as they looked to tie the aggregate score in the series.

After several shots by Atlanta, it was Julian Gressel who scored the second goal of the night after he shot the ball to the left side of the goal, a spot where the Herediano’s goalie had no chance of stopping the shot.

Gressel’s goal was assisted by Ezequiel Barco, who was later announced as the man of the match. In the second half, Martinez scored his second goal of the night at the 63rd minute. With the match being one-sided, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez scored Atlanta’s fourth of the night at the 83rd minute.During the match, Atlanta finished with 60 percent of possession and finished with 18 total shots, compared to Herediano’s seven.

LGP and “Pity” Martinez each finished the match with a yellow card.

Before facing Monterrey next week, the Five Stripes will open its 2019 MLS campaign, when they travel to Washington D.C., when the team takes on D.C. United.

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