Club erases two-goal deficit in final 20 minutes to break league’s road wins record
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Atlanta United stormed back in the second half to score three goals in the final 20 minutes to defeat San Jose Earthquakes 4-3 Saturday night at Avaya Stadium. Josef Martinez scored twice, including the game-winner in second-half stoppage time, and Miguel Almirón added another as Atlanta picked up its 10th road win of the season to break the league’s all-time record for road wins in the post-shootout era. The win also secured a top four finish in the Eastern Conference, guaranteeing the club at least one home MLS Cup Playoff game.
San Jose jumped out to an early lead thanks to Nick Lima in the 13th minute. The defender made a run deep into the box to join the attack and snuck to the far post to head in a cross from Shea Salinas for the 1-0 lead. A half hour later, Danny Hoesen doubled the lead for the Earthquakes after getting through on a long ball from San Jose’s half. Hoesen’s original shot attempt was saved by Brad Guzan, but on the ensuing rebound Hoesen chipped a ball to the far post to make it 2-0.
Atlanta was able to get one back right before halftime with Tito Villalba sending in a screamer during first-half stoppage time. Quickly hitting on a counterattack, Martinez held up a ball for Julian Gressel, who then sent a cross toward the far edge of the box for Villalba. The Argentine-born forward one-timed his shot into the upper right corner, leaving JT Marcinkowski no chance to make a save.
In the 58th minute, San Jose again went up by two goals as Vako Qazaishvili maneuvered through the Atlanta defense and struck with a left-footed shot into the left corner for a 3-1 lead.
Then, San Jose appeared to take a 4-1 lead about 10 minutes later from Chris Wondolowski, but video review overturned a call on the build-up of the play, awarding Atlanta a penalty due to a handling infraction on Magnus Eriksson. Martinez stepped up to the spot and calmly scored with a low shot to the right corner to cut the deficit to one.
Just three minutes later, Almirón equalized after latching onto a loose ball in the box. Martinez capped the comeback by heading in a cross from Almirón in the fifth minute of stoppage time. Ezequiel Barco played Almirón free along the left wing and he immediately sent a cross for the far post that Martinez timed perfectly to head back into the net.
Atlanta United (18-5-6, 60 points) returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 22 when it hosts Real Salt Lake at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (7:00 p.m., FOX Sports Southeast, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).
Atlanta United 4, San Jose Earthquakes 3
San Jose, California
Shots: 19-9 Atlanta
Shots on Target: 9-6 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 11-3 Atlanta
Fouls committed: 13-8 Atlanta
Saves: 4-3 San Jose
Clearances: 20-12 San Jose
Offside: 3-2 San Jose
Possession: 56-44 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 83-79 Atlanta
SJ – Nick Lima (Shea Salinas) 13’ [HIGHLIGHT]
SJ – Danny Hoesen 43’
ATL – Tito Villalba (Julian Gressel) 45+3’ [HIGHLIGHT]
SJ – Vako Qazaishvili 58’ (Nick Lima) [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Josef Martinez (penalty) 70’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Miguel Almirón 73’
ATL – Josef Martinez (Miguel Almirón, Ezequiel Barco) 90+5’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Franco Escobar (yellow) 7’
ATL – Jeff Larentowicz (yellow) 18’
SJ – Shea Salinas (yellow) 53’
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Brad Guzan; Chris McCann, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst ©, Franco Escobar (Kevin Kratz – 71’); Eric Remedi, Jeff Larentowicz (Ezequiel Barco – HT), Julian Gressel; Tito Villalba (Brandon Vazquez – 87’), Miguel Almirón, Josef Martinez.
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, George Bello, Miles Robinson, Romario Williams.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES STARTING LINEUP
JT Marcinkowski; Nick Lima, Guram Kashia ©, Harold Cummings, Shea Salinas; Luis Felipe, Anibal Godoy (Florian Jungwirth – 83’), Jackson Yueill (Tommy Thompson – 76’), Magnus Erikkson; Vako Qazaishvili, Danny Hoesen (Chris Wondolowski – 61’)
Substitutes not used: Andrew Tarbell, FJoel Qwiberg, Yeferson Quintana, Jahmir Hyka.
Fotis Bazakos (referee), Cameron Blanchard (assistant), Matthew S. Nelson (assistant), Alejandro Mariscal (fourth), Drew Fischer (VAR).
- Atlanta came from behind to win a game after trailing by two goals for the first time in club history. The last time Atlanta erased a two-goal deficit to earn a point was against Philadelphia Union (Aug. 26, 2017).
- With the win, Atlanta now has 10 road wins on the season, breaking an MLS record in the post-shootout era. The club also has 32 road points, tying the record during the post-shootout era.
- The win also guaranteed a top four finish for Atlanta in the Eastern Conference, guaranteeing at least one home MLS Cup Playoff game.
- Jeff Larentowicz appeared in his 386th career match, good for fourth place all-time in MLS history by a field player.
- Larentowicz also started his 367th career MLS match, also ranking in fourth place in MLS history by a field player.
- Josef Martinez now has 30 goals during the 2018 season, tied for fourth on the Global Golden Boot race with Harry Kane. Lionel Messi and Jonas (Benfica) each finished the 2017-18 season with 34 goals.