In a matchup between the bottom dwellers in each conference, Atlanta United's second half goal from Juiian Gressel was enough to edge the Colorado Rapids 1-0 in Week 9 action at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Despite dominating possession 70-30 percent, Atlanta struggled to find any creative play in the final third for at least the first hour of the match. Things started changing around the 70th with a couple dangerous crosses just out of the reach of Josef Martinez inside the six.
With a bit of momentum, Darlington Nagbe advanced a ball into the area and sent a short cross to the near post, where Gressel lunged in to get a foot in front of his mark and put the ball in off the post.
Hector Villalba nearly doubled the lead in stoppage time but his curling shot shot clanked off right post.
Colorado suffered their sixth consecutive loss and remain winless on the season.
- 74’ — ATL — Julian Gressel | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: In their fourth try of the season, Atlanta finally won at home again, now 1-1-2 at Mercedes-Benz. And while their offensive struggles persist, they've also only allowed eight goals. Colorado came into the match having conceded a league-high 23 goals to date, so they may take some comfort in the solid defensive effort. And, 16-year homegrown midfielder Sebastian Anderson did not look out of place in making his professional debut.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Gressel does well making the near-post run and finishing, but credit to Nagbe for the aggressive in his run forward:
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Nagbe's key run resulted in the goal, and his overall simple play and passing allowed Atlanta to possess the ball all day, while rarely giving the ball away.