Justin Meram Scores Twice to Help United Defeat the Impact
ATLANTA — Atlanta United defeated the Montreal Impact 2-1 with both goals being scored by
newcomer Justin Meram Saturday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. A goal in each half for Meram, who was recently acquired by United from the Columbus Crew, propelled the Five Stripes to 29 points, which currently places them at fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
“We know he’s two feeted and has a really solid shot with his inside feet and he’s already shown us that on practice also,” Atlanta United manager Frank De Boer said. “He’s practicing and wants to show himself for the public and the fans, he wants to be important, and he told me that before the match. It’s
great for him, great for me, great for the fans, great for the club, really pleased with his performance tonight.” Montreal’s gameplan was to bunker entirely, so a couple of minutes consisted of Atlanta’s players attempting different ways to break through the opponent’s defense but each time they were not successful.
At about the 35th minute, after receiving a pass from Pity Martinez, Meram took a curled shot from about 25 yards out, which ended exactly in the upper right corner of the goal, a spot where Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush had no chance of getting a hand on it.
But the lead wouldn’t last long as Montreal’s Zakaria Diallo tied the match at the 50th minute after he deflected a shot that was taken by Harry Novillo.During the rest of the match, Atlanta had its fair chances of taking the lead, but unfortunately, the ball
wouldn’t go inside the goal. That was until the 83rd minute when Meram scored off a corner after receiving an assist from Brek Shea, who had come into the match just seconds earlier as a substitute. The two goals for Meram were first two in the Five Stripes kit and good enough to help the home team earn three valuable points.
United finished the match with 15 shots, four shots on goal and controlled possession 56 percent to Montreal’s 44 percent. “I’m very proud of the team, they played with so much discipline, it was so attempting to go in-depth and
force us to make mistakes, but we were really concentrated in our play,” De Boer said about his team’s performance. “It’s difficult to create many chances when the other team plays that deep in their own half, we believed in it (gameplan), we played very concentratedly after the tie, I think we deserved this win.”
Atlanta will be back on the field Wednesday night when the team visits the Chicago Fire. Kickoff is set at 8 p.m.
Man of the Match:
The award goes to none other than Justin Meram for his two-goal performance. At a point where it seemed that Atlanta would never find the opening goal of the match, it was wonder shot by Meram from
25 yards out that brought everyone in attendance to its feet. And in the second half, just when it looked like the match would end with one point for each team, it was Meram again being in the right spot at the
right time. At a time where United does not have its usual starters such as Josef Martinez, Ezequiel Barco, and Tito Villalba, Meram showed us that he too would rise to the challenge of playing and giving
it his all when his name gets called up by manager Frank De Boer.