Josef Martinez scored his first competitive goal of 2020 only a minute after his team went behind, helping Atlanta United to a 1-1 draw against FC Motagua in Leg 1 of their Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 series.
Pity Martinez provided the give-and-go services on Josef Martinez's 35th minute strike, a crucial away goal that allows Atlanta to advance to their second consecutive quarterfinal with a win or 0-0 draw at Fifth Third Bank Stadium on February 25 (8 pm ET | FS1, TUDN).
Roberto Moreira's volley put Motagua briefly in front at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula, created by Felix Crisanto's early ball from the right flank.
- THE BIG PICTURE: This was a rung or two below the best of what we've seen from Frank de Boer's version of Atlanta United, but it was certainly a positive result given the circumstances. Not only were there the typical obstacles of opening the season in continental play, but Atlanta were also playing substantially shorthanded in a less frequently used formation. Miles Robinson, George Bello and Edgar Castillo were injured. Matheus Rossetto, Jake Mulraney and Manuel Castro did not play as they await visa paperwork.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The commentators hadn't yet finished talking about Atlanta's poor marking on Motagua's opener than the Martinez boys (no relation) did what they do and created a bit of magic.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Pity Martinez. If the Argentine struggled to get up with his new team when it opened CCL play a season ago, he made up for it immensely in Honduras, providing a crucial release valve throughout the match, feeding Josef for the equalizer, and having a look or two himself at a potential late winner. He also made a team-high 86 percent of his passes (25-of-29);
- MTG: Saturday, Feb. 22 at Real de Minas, Liga Nacional (4 pm ET)
- ATL: Tuesday, Feb. 25 vs FC Motagua, CCL Round of 16 Leg 2 (8 pm ET | FS1, TUDN)
Atlanta United (4-2-3-1, left to right): Brad Guzan — Franco Escobar, Fernando Meza, Anton Walkes, Mo Adams (65' Brooks Lennon) — Jeff Larentowicz, Eric Remedi — Ezequiel Barco, Emerson Hyndman, Pity Martinez (81' Adam Jahn) — Josef Martinez
Motagua (4-2-3-1, left to right): Jonathan Rougier — Omar Elvir, Marcelo Santos, Marcelo Pereira, Felix Crisanto — Reinieri Mayorquin (70' Walter Martinez), Hector Castellanos — Roberto Moreira Aldana, Matias Galvaliz (82' Emilio Izaguirre), Kevin Lopez — Rubillo Castillo (66' Gonzalo Klusener)