An unforgettable night for Atlanta United as the red, black and gold dazzled the crowd with a three-goal victory in their first-ever match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Tata Martino chose his full first-choice lineup despite the quick turnaround for Atlanta United players, naming the same personnel that started the last match in Philadelphia: Brad Guzan (GK), Greg Garza (LB), Michael Parkhurst (CB), Leandro González Pirez (CB), Anton Walkes (RB), Jeff Larentowicz (CM), Carlos Carmona (CM), Yamil Asad (LW), Miguel Almirón (CAM), Tito Villalba (RW), Josef Martinez (ST).
Atlanta United went on the front foot immediately, putting pressure on the FC Dallas goal and earning a penalty that was overturned for an offside in the buildup. But the red, black and gold kept up the pressure, and it paid off less than ten minutes later. A short corner routine fell to the foot of Miguel Almirón who sent a beautiful, teasing cross into the box. Tito Villalba flicked the ball perfectly onto the far post where Leandro González Pirez was ready to slide in his first goal for Atlanta United, and the team’s historic first-ever goal at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Despite Atlanta United tallying twelve shots – and a period of late pressure from FC Dallas – the game was fully in the balance as the teams went into the locker room at halftime. But it wasn’t long before Josef Martinez would double the lead. Less than 30 seconds into the second half, Carlos Carmona sent a looping through ball behind the defense for Miguel Almirón, who crossed an early ball to Josef Martinez. The Venezuelan international then finished the opportunity ruthlessly at the back post to take the 2-0 lead.
The sold-out Mercedes-Benz Stadium crowd transitioned from confidence into celebration just after the hour mark, and what a goal it was to seal the win. Atlanta United worked the ball around to Tito Villalba on the right wing, who sent in a low cross to the near post. Josef Martinez played a beautiful fake to let the ball run past him and into the path of Greg Garza, who tapped into the net at the far post.
Atlanta United was comfortable from there, holding FC Dallas at arm’s length to keep a clean sheet and a valuable three points to kick off their six-match home-stand in front of a sold-out 45,314-person crowd. The win keeps Atlanta United above the playoff line with several games in hand on the teams above them in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta United will hope to keep the winning momentum alive as they host the New England Revolution on Wednesday night. Tickets are available, make sure you reserve your spot here.