Atlanta United 2, Chicago Fire 0 | 2019 MLS Match Recap

A second consecutive Josef Martinez brace again gave Atlanta United all three points, as the defending MLS Cup champions defeated the Chicago Fire, 2-0, on Saturday evening at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Martinez, who now has five goals across his last three games, first found net in the 12th minute after being slipped through by Pity Martinez. The Venezuelan made no mistake with a left-footed finish past Fire goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm.

Come the 43rd minute, Martinez then made it 2-0 after outmuscling Francisco Calvo at the halfway line and beating Dax McCarty on a sprint towards goal. Martinez again slotted past Kronholm, this time with his right foot.

The scoreline could have been far more lopsided if not for some strong play from Kronholm. The veteran, acquired May 7, made a season-high seven saves. He’s now started the last three games for Chicago.  

Goals

  • 12' – ATL – Josef Martinez | WATCH
  • 43' – ATL – Josef Martinez | WATCH 

Three Things 

  • THE BIG PICTURE: The Chicago Fire’s first road win of 2019 remains elusive, as they’re the only Eastern Conference side outside of the New England Revolution not to secure three points away from home. Stretch it back across the last season-plus, and Chicago holds a 2-16-7 record away from SeatGeek Stadium. Atlanta, meanwhile, has made the most of two home games before the Gold Cup break, securing a maximum six points. The Five Stripes, for the time being, are atop the Eastern Conference standings and ahead of D.C. United. Both teams are on 26 points. 
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The Josef Martinez opener was a thing of beauty – and not necessarily for the left-footed finish. Pity Martinez brilliantly slipped his fellow Designated Player through for his second assist in MLS. In moments like those, it’s clear why the Five Stripes shelled out the big bucks for the 2018 South American Footballer of the Year.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Josef Martinez is back like he never left. With two strikes against Chicago, the 2018 Landon Donovan MLS MVP now has five goals across his last three games. That gives the Venezuelan 64 goals across 75 regular-season and playoff games – all with Atlanta. While Carlos Vela of LAFC leads the race for the 2019 Golden Boot presented by Audi with 15 goals, Martinez — now at 10 goals — isn’t going away quietly.

Next Up

  • ATLTuesday, June 11 at Charleston Battery (US Open Cup) (7:30 pm ET | ESPN+)
  • CHI: Tuesday, June 11 Saint Louis FC (US Open Cup) (8:30 pm ET | ESPN+)

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