Miguel Almiron hit a second-half brace, Josef Martinez scored his league-leading 15th goal and Atlanta United continued its dominance of rivals Orlando City SC in a 4-0 romp before 71,932 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday evening.
Ezequiel Barco also scored in the second half for Atlanta, which won for just the second time in five home matches and improved to 3-0-3 in their last six games.
Martinez also contributed his second career MLS assist on Almiron's first goal, much to the delight of the second-largest crowd to attend a regular season, non-double-header match in MLS history.
71,932. The biggest soccer crowd in the world today.— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) July 1, 2018
We are here.
We are rowdy.
We are proud. pic.twitter.com/S24wdDgIBq
Meanwhile, Orlando sank to an eighth consecutive league defeat, tying the longest such streak in the league this season in their second and final game this season under interim coach Bobby Murphy. They're now 0-3-2 against Atlanta.
James O'Connor is set to take over next week for Murphy, who couldn't snap Orlando's skid after the firing of Jason Kreis. Murphy did manage the Lions to a triumph on penalties over D.C. United in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup 10 days ago.
- 3' - ATL - Josef Martinez | Watch
- 55' - ATL - Miguel Almiron | Watch
- 57' - ATL - Ezequiel Barco | Watch
- 78' - ATL - Miguel Almiron | Watch
- THE BIG PICTURE: Only Colorado has lost as many consecutive matches at any point this season as Orlando, whose road won't get any easier with a July 4th trip to Dallas. Mathematically, there's still time for a turnaround — the Lions sat just two points beneath the playoff line immediately after their defeat.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It might've been a different match if not for some goal-line heroics late in the first half. Jonathan Spector had an open shot off a corner kick, but saw his effort denied by Brad Guzan's left leg from close range. Mikey Ambrose reacted just in time to poke the rebound away from an oncoming Amro Tarek.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Almiron made sure what could've been a tricky second half for the hosts turned into an easy one. His second goal owed to simple strength and persistence, and he also put a beautiful effort off the crossbar that Barco cleaned up for this first league goal since May 20.