Atlanta United Defeats D.C. United 3-2
ATLANTA - Atlanta United won 3-2 Saturday against D.C. United in front of a crowd of 42,608. Ezequiel Barco, Josef Martínez and George Bello each scored to run Atlanta's win streak to three matches and collect its seventh win in its last eight. The win moved Atlanta into a playoff spot. Martínez's goal was the 99th of his Atlanta United career across all competitions.
Barco brought Mercedes-Benz Stadium alive in the 18th minute when he scored the game's opening goal, a world class free kick from roughly 25 yards out. Bello won a foul a minute earlier when he was taken down near the top of the 18-yard-box on the left side. Barco blasted the dead ball with his right boot, burying it into the upper left corner past a diving Bill Hamid. It was the Argentine's seventh goal of the season, putting him into a tie for second on the team with Marcelino Moreno.
Atlanta almost doubled its lead in the 24th minute when a Julian Gressel back pass was hit weakly, and Bello ran on to the errant delivery. The Homegrown defender dashed into the penalty area and arrived one-on-one with Hamid. He took his chance on goal, but the D.C. netminder pushed the shot over the bar for a corner.
Just before the half Brad Guzan came up with a crucial save to preserve the lead. Gressel lofted a free kick into the box where it was popped in the air and presented Russell Canouse with a free header from point-blank range at the edge of the six-yard-box, but Guzan rushed out to deny the shot.
Martínez extended Atlanta's lead in the 64th minute. Atlanta pressed D.C. in its own half which forced Gressel to misplace a pass that Barco immediately gathered and turned towards goal down the left side. Martínez made a diagonal run from right to left into the box as Barco slipped a pass in behind. The Venezuelan scored on a first-time shot to the near post for his team-leading ninth goal of the year.
D.C. got one goal back in the 75th minute. Canouse attempted a shot from distance that was blocked by Anton Walkes and fell to Felipe at the top of the box. The D.C. United midfielder took the shot on a half-volley and scored to the upper right corner to cut Atlanta's lead in half.
Atlanta sealed the win with a goal from Bello in the 87th minute after an incredible individual effort from Moreno. The play started from a D.C. United corner kick that Atlanta cleared and played up the right side for Moreno. The Argentine received the ball near midfield and took on three D.C. defenders to get to the end line where he squared the ball across the box for Bello to tap in the game's deciding goal. It was Bello's first goal of the season and Moreno's fifth assist of the year.
Martínez had a pair of opportunities to score in stoppage time, including one that hit the post in the 93rd minute, but couldn't secure his 100th career goal before the final whistle.
D.C. United scored its second of the night in the final minute of stoppage time from a long-distance strike by Edison Flores.
Atlanta (9-7-9, 36 points) returns to action Saturday, Sept. 25 when it travels to face Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park (3:30 p.m., Univision, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game, La Mejor).
Atlanta United 3, D.C. United 2
Shots: 16-12 Atlanta
Shots on Target: 6-5 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 6-6
Fouls committed: 25-8 D.C.
Possession: 61-39 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 83-75 Atlanta
ATL - Ezequiel Barco 18' [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL - Josef Martínez (Ezequiel Barco) 64' [HIGHLIGHT]
DCU - Felipe 75' [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL - George Bello (Marcelino Moreno) 87' [HIGHLIGHT]
DCU - Edison Flores (Ola Kamara, Julian Gressel) 90+4' [HIGHLIGHT]
DCU - Frédéric Brillant (yellow) 27'
DCU - Júnior Moreno (yellow) 34'
DCU - Kevin Paredes (yellow) 50'
ATL - Alan Franco (yellow) 65'
DCU - Tony Alfaro (yellow) 77'
ATL - Luiz Araújo (yellow) 81'
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Bradley Guzan ©; George Campbell (Luiz Araújo - 57'), Brooks Lennon, Alan Franco, George Bello, Anton Walkes; Marcelino Moreno (Alex De John - 89'), Santiago Sosa, Matheus Rossetto (Mo Adams - 78'); Ezequiel Barco, Josef Martínez
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Jürgen Damm, Jake Mulraney, Tyler Wolff, Machop Chol, Erick Torres.
D.C. UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Bill Hamid; Donovan Pines, Tony Alfaro, Frédéric Brillant © (Steven Birnbaum - 85'); Kevin Paredes, Julian Gressel, Júnior Moreno (Felipe - 60'), Russell Canouse; Paul Arriola (Griffin Yow - 71'), Ola Kamara, Drew Skundrich (Edison Flores - 60').
Substitutes not used: Moses Nyeman, Joseph Mora, Jon Kempin.
Joe Dickerson (referee), Nick Uranga (assistant), Jeffrey Swartzel (assistant), Greg Dopka (fourth), Younes Marrakchi (VAR), Claudiu Badea (AVAR).
Ezequiel Barco scored his seventh goal of the season and his second from a direct free kick in consecutive matches
Josef Martínez scored his team-leading ninth goal of the year and the 99th of his career across all competitions for Atlanta United
George Bello scored his first goal of the season
Marcelino Moreno recorded his fifth assist of the season
Atlanta United won 25 fouls, which is a single-match club record
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