Martinez scores twice to up season total to 17, increases MLS Golden Boot lead to six
FRISCO, Texas (July 4, 2018) — Atlanta United fell to FC Dallas 3-2 Wednesday night in front of 17,298 fans at Toyota Stadium. Josef Martinez scored twice, notching his league-leading 17th goal, but two late goals from FC Dallas ultimately sunk Atlanta, snapping the team’s seven-game road unbeaten streak.
For just the fifth time this season in MLS play, Atlanta United allowed the first goal of the match as Reto Ziegler curled in a free kick attempt from about 30 yards out in the 22nd minute. Ziegler’s attempt rose just above the wall and snuck into the right corner, beating Brad Guzan to the goalkeeper’s left.
But Atlanta equalized before halftime as Martinez scored his first goal of the match in the 41st minute. Tito Villalba started the play along the right wing by dancing around Maynor Figueroa before streaking into the box. He then played a cross into the middle of the six-yard box where Martinez slid and hammered the ball into the back of the net with his left foot.
Martinez then put Atlanta ahead in the 73rd minute with a clinical left-footed finish. Miguel Almirón found space about 40 yards out and dribbled near the edge of the box before he played Martinez on. There, the Venezuelan timed his run perfectly, turned his hips toward goal, and unleashed a powerful shot toward the left corner that Jesse Gonzalez couldn’t stop with his right hand.
However, second-half substitute Tesho Akindele scored twice in the final five minutes to bring FC Dallas back. He equalized in the 86th minutes after Maxi Urruti flicked him free down the left wing. Streaking in alone, he beat Guzan short side. Two minutes later, following a corner kick, Akindele had a loose ball fall to his feet where the Canadian-born forward put FC Dallas ahead with a right-footed strike.
Atlanta United (11-4-4, 37 points) returns to action Saturday when it travels to play Philadelphia Union on Saturday, July 7 at Talen Energy Stadium. (7:00 p.m., FOX Sports Southeast, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).
FC Dallas 3, Atlanta United 2
Shots on Target: 6-6
Corner kicks: 7-6 Atlanta
Fouls committed: 10-6 FC Dallas
Saves: 4-3 FC Dallas
Clearances: 14-13 FC Dallas
Offside: 3-0 FC Dallas
Possession: 56-44 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 86-83 Atlanta
FCD – Reto Ziegler 22’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Josef Martinez (Tito Villalba) 41’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Josef Martinez (Miguel Almirón) 73’ [HIGHLIGHT]
FCD – Tesho Akindele (Maxi Urruti, Ryan Hollingshead) 86’ [HIGHLIGHT]
FCD – Tesho Akindele 88’ [HIGHLIGHT]
FCD – Roland Lamah (yellow) 14’
ATL – Franco Escobar (yellow) 45’
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Brad Guzan; Mikey Ambrose, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst © (Romario Williams – 89’), Franco Escobar; Jeff Larentowicz, Julian Gressel; Ezequiel Barco (Miles Robinson – 83’), Miguel Almirón, Tito Villalba (Kevin Kratz – 69’); Josef Martinez.
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Sal Zizzo, Brandon Vazquez, Andrew Carleton.
FC DALLAS STARTING LINEUP
Jesse Gonzalez; Maynor Figueroa (Ryan Hollingshead – 82’), Reto Ziegler, Matt Hedges ©, Reggie Cannon; Roland Lamah, Victor Ulloa (Tesho Akindele – 75’), Carlos Gruezo, Santiago Mosquera (Kellyn Acosta – 57’); Max Urruti, Michael Barrios.
Substitutes not used: Jimmy Maurer, Kris Reaves, Jacori Hayes, Jesus Ferreira.
Alan Kelly (referee), Matthew S. Nelson (assistant), Andrew Bigelow (assistant), Hilario Grajeda (fourth), Edvin Jurisevic (VAR).
• This was the first time Atlanta lost when Josef Martinez scored a goal. The club is now 18-1-4.
• Martinez has now scored nine times in the club’s last seven games. He’s scored in all but one of those matches.
• With 17 goals, Martinez leads the Golden Boot race now by six, ahead of Bradley Wright-Phillips and Gyasi Zardes.
• Franco Escobar and Michael Parkhurst each had a game-high four tackles.
• Jeff Larentowicz started his 357th career MLS game. He’s in fifth place in MLS history by a field player.
• Larentowicz also appeared in his 376th career game. He’s also in fifth place in MLS history by a field player.
• Atlanta is now 1-3-1 when allowing the first goal of the match
• The teams took a hydration break in the 31st minute.