Venezuelan forward continues torrid stretch; has scored in six straight matches, 16 goals in last 10 matches
MONTREAL, Quebec — Josef Martinez scored twice to lead Atlanta United past Montreal Impact 2-1 in front of 19,064 fans at Stade Saputo on Saturday night. Martinez, who added to his league-leading goal tally of 24, has now scored in six consecutive matches and is just three goals shy of tying the league’s single-season record.
Atlanta scored the first goal of the match for the 16th time this season when Martinez broke through in the 31st minute. After taking a ball near midfield, Miguel Almirón found a pocket of space and played a through ball into the far corner flag that seemed to catch the Montreal defense off-guard. However, a streaking Tito Villalba got on the end of the pass and immediately sent a left-footed cross into the box for Martinez and the forward headed in a goal for the eighth time this season.
During halftime, severe weather forced a delay that ultimately lasted slightly more than an hour. The match finally resumed at 9:20 p.m. and it took just a dozen minutes for Martinez to strike again to double Atlanta’s lead. Franco Escobar re-gained possession of a loose ball near the edge of the 18 and immediately played Julian Gressel in toward goal. Gressel’s ensuing attempt was blocked by Evan Bush, but Escobar was the first to the rebound and hammered a shot toward goal that was temporarily stopped by Jukka Raitala. However, Martinez stepped in front of Raitala’s attempted clearance and wound up scoring on the re-direction.
Ignacio Piatti put Montreal on the board in the 87th minute, but Atlanta was able to kill the game off to preserve the three points.
The league will converge in Atlanta this week for MLS All-Star festivities beginning on Monday, July 30 and culminate at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which will host the MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday, Aug. 1. Atlanta United (14-4-5, 47 points) will return to action when it hosts Toronto FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 4 (4:00 p.m., ESPN, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).
Atlanta United 2, Montreal Impact 1
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Shots on Target: 8-7 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 5-2 Montreal
Fouls committed: 11-9 Atlanta
Clearances: 20-10 Atlanta
Offside: 3-1 Atlanta
Possession: 56-44 Montreal
Passing Accuracy: 85-80 Montreal
ATL – Josef Martinez (Tito Villalba, Miguel Almirón) 31’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Josef Martinez 57’ [HIGHLIGHT]
MTL – Ignacio Piatti (Alejandro Silva) 87’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Franco Escobar (yellow) 23’
ATL – Michael Parkhurst (yellow) 77’
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Brad Guzan; Chris McCann, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst ©, Franco Escobar; Jeff Larentowicz, Eric Remedi; Tito Villalba (Kevin Kratz – 90+2’), Miguel Almirón, Julian Gressel; Josef Martinez (Brandon Vazquez – 84’).
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Miles Robinson, Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu, Andrew Carleton, Romario Williams.
MONTREAL IMPACT STARTING LINEUP
Evan Bush; Daniel Lovitz, Rudy Camacho, Rod Fanni, Jukka Raitala (Michael Petrasso – 84’); Saphir Taïder (Mathieu Choinière – 65’), Samuel Piette, Ken Krolicki (Jeisson Vargas – 86’); Ignacio Piatta ©, Matteo Mancosu, Alejandro Silva.
Substitutes not used: Clément Diop, Victor Cabrera, Shamit Shome, Dominic Oduro.
Hilario Grajeda (referee), Jonathan Johnson (assistant), TJ Zablocki (assistant), Matthew Franz (fourth), Kevin Terry Jr. (VAR).
- Jeff Larentowicz appeared in his 380th career game, which ranks fourth all-time in MLS history by a field player.
- Larentowicz also started his 361st career MLS game, passing Bobby Boswell for fourth all-time in MLS history.
- Eric Remedi made his first career MLS start.
- Franco Escobar picked up his sixth yellow card of the season and will miss the next match due to accumulation.
- Martinez has scored in 10 of his last 11 matches. He has 16 goals in the stretch.
- Martinez is now tied for sixth on the single-season goalscoring chart.
- He’s now scored in six consecutive matches, which is tied for sixth in league history.
- After a lighting delay that started during halftime, the match re-started at 9:20 p.m.