MLS SOCCER

Atlanta United falls 2-1 against FC Dallas

osef Martinez line up his sights to score

Atlanta United falls 2-1 against FC Dallas

ATLANTA — In its first home game in almost a month, Atlanta United lost 2-1 against FC Dallas Saturday afternoon. A goal in each half for the team from the Lone State helped them earned their first win ever at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The goal for Atlanta came off a penalty by Josef Martinez at the 95th minute. The penalty was called after a foul was committed on Brek Shea, which wasn’t initially called but a review by VAR led the referee to change his decision.

“If we play like this, I think from the 30 games (left), we will win 28 and lose one, like today, and we will draw one,” Atlanta United manager Frank De Boer said. “I think we took two steps forward today, not with the result of course, but I was proud of the intensity, how we played, what we told them (before the match), what we expected, we did really good but sometimes soccer is unfair, and for us, it was today.”

Jesus Ferreira scored the first goal of the match for Dallas FC at the sixth minute after receiving a cross from teammate Michael Barrios. Afterwards, Atlanta looked to equalize the game but to the team’s misfortune, either the shot attempt sailed wide of the goal or Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez would come away with a save.

Two very close goal scoring opportunities for Atlanta included a shot a by Barco at the 25th minute in which goalkeeper Gonzalez was beaten, but the ball ended up hitting the post instead of the back of the net. The other attempt, at the 40th minute, was a free kick by Barco which was saved by Gonzalez and the ball landed at Josef Martinez feet, but his shot went just wide of the goal.

Just like the first half, Atlanta pushed its men forward in the second half, while searching for the equalizing goal. At the 60th minute, a free kick by Barco looked to have gone in but unfortunately, the ball hit the crossbar, and the ball headed out of bounds. After many attempts by Atlanta, at the 85th minute, a counter-attack by FC Dallas led to Barrios with the ball on the right side of the field, and he crossed it over to teammate Bryan Acosta, who happened to put the ball in the back of the net and give his team a 2-0 lead.

Martinez scored for Atlanta 10 minutes later, but it was too little too late at that point.

“We’re disappointed, we talked about wanting to win, wanted to put on a good performance in front of our fans and not taking their support for granted, they come here to see us play and to see us win, so we want to win,” Atlanta United captain Michael Parkhurst said.

“You can’t get them back, they’re lost (points at home), but you have to learn from it, and you have to play better, opportunities can pass you by quickly and that was one that passes by.”

“We have another home game next week, and that’s important, all home games are important, especially in this league where it’s difficult to win on the road, so we want to take advantage of it, and we want to put that fear back into other teams that come into Mercedes Benz to play us and right now is not there.”

The Five Stripes will resume MLS play next Saturday when the team hosts Colorado FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

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