Gabriel Heinze didn’t want to talk about the result Sunday, and he rarely likes to discuss individual performances.
Josef Martinez struck for the equalizer from the penalty spot four minutes from full time to secure the 1-1 draw Sunday. That after Marcelino Moreno’s stoppage-time winner in a 1-0 win over CF Montréal last week.
“It’s not a habit to score in the last minutes,” Heinze said through a translator in his post-match press conference. “I believe it’s more like a heart or a belief not to give up, the game is not going to be over until the 93rd minute and every ball can be the last ball.”
The goal Martinez scored was the first the Sounders conceded at home this season. For Brad Guzan it was the culmination of a second half in which the visitors pressed for the equalizer and got a deserved result.
“There’s a reason why teams come here and it’s a tough place to play because Seattle’s a good team, they make it difficult, they’ve got good players that are in the attacking third and the defensive side of the ball, they get numbers behind the ball, they work hard,” Guzan said. “So, to then continue to probe and continue to push forward, those are important moments that we believe regardless if its the first minute or the 95th minute, we’re going to get a chance or two and we need to be able to take those chances.”
Guzan believed Martinez’s PK was also important to the Venezuelan’s psyche as the former Golden Boot presented by Audi winner continues to build up confidence following his ACL injury a year ago. It was his second goal of the year, but first from the penalty spot since 2019, which meant Martinez wasn't quite as stone-cold confident as he appeared to be.
“It was a little bit of nerves because it’s been two years since i’ve taken a penalty,” Martinez said.
Atlanta are now unbeaten in their last three (1-0-2) and moved up to third place in the Eastern Conference with the result. While it’s still a work in progress, especially in the attacking third, Heinze lauded his squad’s mentality.
“I’m happy, very happy because to see this team, the way they play, how they compete and how they want to win every game,” Heinze said. “I repeat again, I don’t like to talk about the result and I leave this for the others.”