ATLANTA — Atlanta United defeated New England Revolution 2-1 Saturday afternoon in front of 45,122 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and tied the league’s record for wins in a regular season during the post-shootout era. George Bello and Julian Gressel scored goals for Atlanta, as Bello became the sixth-youngest player in MLS history to score. The win guaranteed Atlanta will stay ahead of New York Red Bulls in the Supporters’ Shield race after this weekend’s games.
Atlanta opened the scoring in the 16th minute, quickly striking off of a free kick. Near midfield, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez perfectly played a ball forward that split a pair of defenders before getting to Bello. The 16-year-old left back took a first touch that played the ball into the box, where he then hammered a shot toward the near post to beat Brad Knighton.
Gressel scored his fourth goal of the year and doubled the lead in the 52nd minute. He started the play near midfield, flicking a ball forward for Tito Villalba. Then with Gressel streaking forward, Villalba slow-played a New England defender before sending a ball through for Gressel, who quickly hit it toward the far post for the goal.
New England added a goal in second-half stoppage time from Juan Agudelo. Diego Fagundez chipped a ball into the box that Agudelo played around Guzan before putting into the back of the net.
Atlanta United (20-6-6, 66 points) returns to action on Sunday, Oct. 21 when it hosts Chicago Fire (3:00 p.m., FOX Sports South, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).
IT'S A MOVEMENT