The photo above pretty much sums up every single Atlanta United’s fan reaction when Franco Escobar came up clutch again in the playoffs for his team as his lonely goal gave them the victory in a close and tense first round playoff match against the New England Revolution. Atlanta United came into Saturday’s playoff match undefeated against the Revolution defeating the side 4 times in 6 matched played between the two sides along with two draws, now make that 5 wins in 7 matches played and a ticket to the next round of the MLS Cup Playoffs against the Philadelphia Union on Thursday, November 24th on ESPN2 at 8:00 PM from Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
It was for sure not an easy and smooth victory though for the 5-Stripes as the match stayed scoreless for about 70 minutes until Escobar found the opener and winning goal with a nice finish past the GK into the roof of the net with a helpful assist by teammate Ezequiel Barco.
Brad Guzan played a big factor as well with six important saves including a few which were very close to finding there way past him, but it never happened and he received Man of the Match for his league leading 15th clean sheet of the season.
Another key factor to United’s win was the captain himself, Michael Parkhurst who was replacing the injured Miles Robinson who was out with an injury, Robinson’s status for the next match is questionable for now, but we hope to have him back as Parkhurst suffered a dislocated shoulder which will put him out for about 2 weeks.
It was unfortunate to see him go down as Parkhurst was having a pretty good game defensive wise with accurate sliding tackles and clearances. Substitutions of Florentin Pogba and Tito Villalba were also a big help with Justin Meram and Emerson Hyndman being replaced as it brought a new boost of energy and pace down the left side for the remainder of the game.
Playoff Franco once again showed how capable of a player he is in big moments as we all saw in last years playoff run to winning the Cup. In a knockout match at the Benz, United came up victorious and now look on to prepare and devise a new strategy to take on the Philadelphia Union at home Thursday, October 24th. Look for a preview article of that playoff match in the coming days. VAMOS UNITED!!!
Stay with ATLSportsHQ all season long for the best ATLUTD coverage and all other things Atlanta Sports, for the fans, by the fans.
Edin Pelja |@Julio_Goat Twitter | @ATLSportsHQ Twitter/IG