Atlanta United played FC Motagua to a 1-1 draw Tuesday night at Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano in Leg One of its Round of 16 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League matchup. Josef Martinez opened his season account with an equalizer in the 35th minute, while Brad Guzan made five saves – all in the second half – to preserve the tie.
Motagua scored the opening goal in the 34th minute from Roberto Moreira, who volleyed a cross from the right side from Felix Crisanto past a diving Brad Guzan.
But Atlanta responded one minute later as Josef Martinez and Pity Martinez combined in attack. Josef laid the ball off to Pity and continued his run into the right side of the box where Atlanta’s No. 10 found him with a return pass. The Venezuelan striker then slotted a composed right-footed finish inside the far post.
In a tightly contested second half, Guzan was the ultimate difference-maker for Atlanta, making five saves in the second half, including four in the final 25 minutes. Josef Martinez forced a diving save in the 83rd minute off solid build-up play from Ezequiel Barco. Adam Jahn, who made his club debut subbing on for Pity Martinez in the 80th minute, also supplemented the attack by winning three aerials and four total duels in his short stint.
Atlanta will host the return leg at Fifth Third Bank Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 25 (8:00 p.m. EST, FS1, TUDN, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game). It opens MLS play next weekend at Nashville SC on Saturday, Feb. 29 (8:00 p.m. EST, FOX, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).
Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 | Leg One
Atlanta United 1, FC Motagua 1
Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano
San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Shots: 12-11 Motagua
Shots on Target: 6-5 Motagua
Corner kicks: 2-2
Fouls committed: 21-17 Atlanta
Offside: 4-0 Motagua
Possession: 55-45 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 78-75 Motagua
MOT –Roberto Moreira (Felix Crisanto) 34’
ATL – Josef Martinez (Pity Martinez) 35’
ATL – Josef Martinez (yellow) 45’
ATL – Franco Escobar (yellow) 52’
MOT – Felix Crisanto (yellow) 78’
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Brad Guzan; Franco Escobar, Fernando Meza, Anton Walkes, Mo Adams (Brooks Lennon – 65’); Jeff Larentowicz © Eric Remedi, Emerson Hyndman; Pity Martinez (Adam Jahn – 80’), Josef Martinez, Ezequiel Barco
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Phil Goodrum, Luis Fernando, George Campbell
FC MOTAGUA STARTING LINEUP
Jonathan Rougier; Marcelo Pereira, Marcelo Santos, Felix Crisanto; Reinieri Mayorquin (Walter Martinez – 70’), Matias Galvaliz (Emilio Izaguirre – 82’), Hector Castellanos, Omar Elvir, Kevin Lopez; Roberto Moreira, Rubillo Castillo (Gonzalo Klusener – 66’)
Substitutes not used: Marlon Licona, Marco Tujio Vega, Wilmer Crisanto, Christopher Melendez
Adonai Escobedo, William Arrieta, Ibrahim Martinez, Fernando Hernandez Gomez
- Fernando Meza, Adam Jahn and Brooks Lennon each made their official Atlanta United debuts
- Pity Martinez completed a team-high 86 percent of his passes (25-of-29).
- Franco Escobar had a game-high 11 recoveries and four interceptions
- Anton Walkes and Fernando Meza each won a game-high four clearances
- Ezequiel Barco won a game-high five fouls
- Adam Jahn won four of five his attempted duels, including all three aerial opportunities