Josef Martinez ties MLS consecutive scoring streak record; club breaks MLS regular season single-game attendance record
Atlanta United defeated LA Galaxy 3-0 Saturday night in front of an MLS Regular Season single-match record crowd 72,548 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. In addition to a pair of own goals, Josef Martinez scored to run his scoring streak to nine matches, tying the MLS record. The record was set by Martinez last season and is shared with Portland’s Diego Valeri. With the win, Atlanta moved into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference and extended its home unbeaten streak to 10 consecutive matches, the second longest streak in club history.
Atlanta took the lead in the 23rd minute from an own goal off Galaxy defender Dave Romney. Ezequiel Barco delivered a pin-point pass from the midfield line to Pity Martinez on the right wing. The Argentine settled the ball and dribbled into the box, making a run towards the end line before sending low cross into the six-yard box looking for Josef Martinez. Romney made a sliding attempt to clear the ball, but it took a deflection off his left foot and bounced into the left side of the net.
Atlanta piled on pressure throughout the rest of the half as Barco nearly scored in the 27th minute when he rattled a shot off the crossbar. Later in the 29th minute, Josef Martinez forced a low diving save from Bingham and then Pity Martinez had a shot strike off the right post in the 36th minute.
But Atlanta finally extended its lead in the 43rd minute from another own goal. Josef Martinez received a pass just outside of the 18-yard box and quickly passed it to Justin Meram on the left wing. Meram attempted to find Martinez again in the center of the box, but Giancarlo Gonzalez’s sliding block deflected the ball into the back of the net.
Josef Martinez scored the third and final goal in the 72nd minute after video review ruled that Emerson Hyndman was taken down on an earlier play inside the penalty area. Martinez stepped to the spot and converted the penalty for his 18th goal of the year.
Atlanta United (12-9-3, 39 points) returns to action Tuesday, Aug. 6 against Orlando City SC in the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup at Exploria Stadium (7:30 p.m. EST, ESPN+). Its next MLS match is Sunday, Aug. 11 against New York City FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (4:00 p.m. EST, ESPN, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).