Atlanta United moves on to the Conference Finals! | NYCFC Leg 2 Recap

For the first time ever in Atlanta United history, the 5 Stripes move on to the Conference Finals of the 2018 MLS Playoffs. 

Guzan and Barco share an embrace
Guzan and Barco share an embrace

In stunning fashion, Atlanta took control of their own fate when it was crunch time.

Already coming in hot with a 1-0 score after leaving Yankee Stadium, Tata Martino’s squad were able to demonstrate how much they wanted to advance in the playoffs after two great goals from Martinez and Almiron, respectively.

Josef’s goal came from a provoked penalty. As always, his spunk showed through the cheeky set up of the penalty kick and he found the back of the net, as he has so many times before during the regular MLS season.

Miguel Almiron
Miguel Almiron

After getting thrown around and tackled by what seemed to be the majority of the NYCFC lineup, Almiron’s goal arrived just in time.

His speed was able to earn him a free kick in a great spot for a classy goal. Almiron’s free kick hit the upper 90 of the New York net and before the first half was over, Atlanta was up 2-0. Just as the halftime whistle was about to blow, NYCFC were able to breathe some life into their game as Chanot scored 1 for the away team.

A bad giveaway from New York led to Martinez scoring Atlanta United’s 3rd goal of the game. After that, the score remained the same.

Josef Martinez in Nike Superfly

After a bad end to their MLS regular season, it seems that Atlanta United have found their rhythm once more and it couldn’t have come at a better time. With Almiron healthy and the rest of their regular starting XI in good form, Atlanta is coming into the conference finals shooting on all cylinders.

The next challenge will be facing the New York Red Bulls late November to see which team moves on to the finals. The Red Bulls, who took the Supporters’ Shield from Atlanta at the very last match of the regular season, are playing great soccer and beat out the Columbus Crew on a 3-1 aggregate score to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

Arturo Principe | @ArturoPrincipe1

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