In front of the first full-capacity crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium since March 2020, Atlanta nearly jumped in front in the sixth minute as Erik Lopez's header on frame was stopped beautifully by Clement Diop. Not long after, Josef Martinez's headed attempt from a George Bello cross missed the target as the Venezuelan striker sought his second goal in as many matches.
Meanwhile, Montréal gradually grew into the match and enjoyed positive spells of possession, including a free kick by Djordje Mihailovic that was blocked by the wall at the quarter-hour point, but failed to put anything on frame outside of Bjorn Johnsen's header off a free kick just inside of the half-hour mark.
The seal was nearly broken out of the halftime break as a 48th-minute attempt by Kamal Miller from beyond the box grazed the crossbar. Meanwhile, Emerson Hyndman appeared to have the opener moments later with a well-taken shot past Diop but was adjudged to be offside. At the other end Romell Quioto found himself in an advanced position and had his own attempt in front of goal stopped by Guzan, but the Honduran was offside in the buildup as the match began to open up slightly. In the 58th, Hyndman's try from distance took a slight deflection over the touchline as a goal-starved Atlanta team looked for the breakthrough.
Montréal, though, nearly found themselves in front prior to the 75th-minute mark as Ahmed Hamdi's shot from an acute angle was turned aside by Guzan. Not long after, a sprinting run from Bello led to a cross in the box to Martinez, but Martinez's header was weak in the end.
But when it looked as it would be shared points for both teams, Moreno delivered to send the Atlanta crowd into a frenzy.
- 90'+4 - ATL - Marcelino Moreno | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: What a night for Atlanta fans. When it appeared that their team would have to settle for a point on the evening, Moreno delivered to send the home crowd wild. With that, the Five Stripes’ four-match winless streak across all competitions was broken, a big boost ahead of a stiff challenge to come against the Seattle Sounders next Sunday. It’s also now four wins in as many matches at home all-time against Montreal, whose stay at the top of the Eastern Conference is over for now.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: There’s no question what this match’s key moment was. Take a look:
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Who else but Moreno? The Argentinian had gotten off to a bit of a slow start in 2021, but delivered a signature moment for the 40,000-plus in attendance at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
- ATL: Sunday, May 23 at Seattle Sounders FC | 4:30pm ET (FOX, FOX Deportes)
- MTL: Saturday, May 22 vs. FC Cincinnati | 1pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+, CTV, TSN, TVA Sports)