Match Recap

Atlanta United extend unbeaten streak with 3-1 win over D.C. United


Atlanta United hosted D.C. United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday to conclude its double matchweek. Goals from Giorgos Giakoumakis, Andrew Gutman and Tyler Wolff helped Atlanta to a 3-1 win. The 5-Stripes extend their unbeaten streak to six matches.

"This group deserved to win for sure," Homegrown Ajani Fortune, who made his first career MLS start, said after the match. "We've played really well in the last few games, and I think to walk away with some ties and losses late in games is unfair to the way we play. I think a win tonight before the break is huge. We can go away, get our mind off it, come back in ready to work, and hopefully we can get a win streak going and build off of it."

Atlanta jumped out to an early lead in the 13th minute. Defender Miles Robinson sent a long ball over the top of D.C.'s backline to Giakoumakis making a run down the center of the field. D.C.'s goalkeeper Tyler Miller came outside the box in an attempt to clear, but the ball rolled right to Giakoumakis, who passed it into the open net from a tough angle.

The goal was Giakoumakis' 10th of the season, tying him for the lead in the Golden Boot race. The Greek striker became the fastest player in club history to reach 10 goals (766 minutes; previous record was 821 minutes by Josef Martinez).

Atlanta was unable to hold the 1-0 lead for long before D.C. equalized in the 27th minute. Midfielder Chris Durkin won the ball in the center circle, resulting in a fast break for D.C. Durkin found striker Taxiarchis Fountas, and his shot slipped into the bottom left corner past the outstretched hands of Brad Guzan.

Atlanta came out with the pressure early in the second half to get back on top. Midfielder Thiago Almada drew multiple defenders onto him right outside the top of the box before splitting two with a pass to Gutman. The defender's left-footed shot deflected off the heel of Miller into the back of the net to give Atlanta the lead in the 49th minute.

Both Gutman and Giakoumakis were also involved in Atlanta's final goal of the night. Giakoumakis played a through ball to Gutman making a run down the left side who then crossed the ball past three D.C. defenders to Wolff running into the box. The goal was originally called offside, but was ruled a goal after a VAR check.

Wolff wasn't the only Homegrown with a big night for Atlanta. Fortune made his first career start for the club in the midfield and defender Caleb Wiley made his first appearance back in the starting lineup since returning from the U-20 FIFA World Cup in Argentina.

Ozzie Alonso was also subbed into the game in the 84th minute. It was the midfielder's first appearance in 14 months since recovering from an ACL injury in April 2022.

"He brings that experience in that part of the field," said head coach Gonzalo Pineda. "We know when he's at his best, he's also very physical. He's also winning the duels. He knows how to seal that center of the field. Also, he's very good at progressing the ball, he's smart with his passing choices. I think it's still going to be a long process to bring him to 90 minutes, but here's a start, so I'm very pleased with that."

Defender Brooks Lennon nearly doubled Atlanta's lead early in the match. Franco Ibarra played Lennon on the right flank and made a move past his defender to cut inside. His left-footed shot rolled just outside the goalpost.

D.C. also had another opportunity later in the first half after a corner kick was cleared out to midfielder Lewis O'Brien. His shot hit the crossbar, but the ball bounced right to Christian Beneteke inside the box. Defender Miles Robinson came sliding into the box to clear it.

Atlanta had another sound performance defensively to maintain control of the match. Guzan made four saves and the backline made 21 total clearances to hold D.C. to only one goal.

Match Stats
D.C. United
Atlanta United
Shots on target
Corner kicks
Fouls committed
Duels won
Passing accuracy

Up next - Atlanta stays at Mercedes-Benz Stadium against New York City FC

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