Atlanta continued their climb up the standings by winning their fourth straight match. D.C. United have now dropped three in a row.
Atlanta opened the scoring in the 25th minute through Josef Martinez, who took a perfect ball from Moreno and slipped it past Jon Kempin for his fourth goal in five matches. Martinez appeared to combine with Luiz Araujo after the half-hour mark for the second goal of the match but was ruled offside in the buildup.
D.C. United looked the better side coming out of the locker room, and they were eventually rewarded in the 54th minute when Yordy Reyna fired home a soaring free kick from well beyond the left side of the box to make it a 1-1 contest. It would have been a 2-1 D.C. lead at the hour mark if Edison Flores' header hadn't hit off the leg of Guzan.
Both teams exchanged near misses with just over 10 minutes remaining, as both Ola Kamara and Martinez saw opportunities to put their respective clubs ahead on the scoreboard come to nothing. But Atlanta pulled ahead in the 82nd minute when a low, driven effort by Moreno wasn't dealt with by Kempin and staked the visitors to a 2-1 lead.
With less than five minutes left, D.C.'s hopes to salvage a point were denied by Guzan. Felipe Martins' shot got through a sea of bodies and was somehow kept out by the Atlanta goalkeeper.
- THE BIG PICTURE: With incoming boss Gonzalo Pineda watching from the Audi Field stands, Atlanta made sure to send interim head coach Rob Valentino out a winner, leaving themselves a chance to get above the playoff line as they head to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for next Saturday’s Heineken Rivalry Week showdown with Nashville SC. D.C. United will feel that they deserved three points on the evening as they put Atlanta under waves of pressure following the halftime break. But it’s ultimately a third straight match dropped with the Philadelphia Union up next.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: D.C. United had Atlanta on their heels throughout the second half and very well could have earned a lead with time dwindling down. But Atlanta had the last laugh when Moreno put his team in front for good on a goal against the run of play.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Brad Guzan made sure to redeem himself for letting in a free kick he should have stopped with a key late save on Martins, but Marcelino Moreno gets the honors. He assisted on Atlanta’s first goal of the night and took the winner himself with his team-high seventh of the season.
- DC: Saturday, August 28 vs. Philadelphia Union | 8:00 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
- ATL: Heineken Rivalry Week Match: Saturday, August 28 vs. Nashville SC | 3:30 pm ET | (Univision, TUDN, Twitter (English audio))