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The five-stripes were back at Mercedes-Benz Stadium to face Chicago Fire FC after a challenging away game against Toronto FC. With the six international call-ups back and the team in familiar surroundings, Atlanta United maintained their winning streak at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The club’s 3-0 victory against Chicago makes them unbeaten at home thus far in the 2024 campaign and unbeaten at home in all time. For the 5-Stripes, this is their second clean sheet of the year.

“Fantastic – I was saying that to the players,” said Head Coach Gonzalo Pineda during the post-game press conference. “I am very happy about the three goals, but the main thing to me is the clean sheet. I told the players I am very happy about that because it is a team reward. It is not just the defenders and the goalkeeper, it is the collective.”

Atlanta United had much of the possession in the first half of the game despite several crucial saves from Brad Guzan to start the game.

Saba Lobjanidze’s nimble play following a turnover set up by Giorgos Giakoumakis gave the team its first encouraging appearance. Giakoumakis had to leave the field due to a collision that occurred during the opportunity. Thiago Almada had the second solid opportunity for the 5-Stripes in the 13th minute, but he missed the far post. Giakoumakis returned to the game after being examined by the trainers.

Atlanta outscored Chicago by ten points on the day thanks to their aggressive offensive style and solid defensive strategy. As the first half wore on, Xande Silva and Giakoumakis made the finest efforts. In the 45th minute, Giakoumakis scored his fifth goal of the year after Lobjanidze set him up after a fantastic stop by Guzan on the other end of the field. With this goal, Giakoumakis became the second-highest scorer in Atlanta United history with his 22nd goal in the regular season.

In the first five games of the 2024 season, Giakoumakis scored five goals, making history as the first player to do so since Josef Martínez. Chicago made a strong early drive in the second half. When native Caleb Wiley received a yellow card, it turned into a chippy situation. Atlanta made three substitutions in the 62nd minute: Edwin Mosquera, Jay Fortune, and Jamal Thiaré replaced Bartosz Slisz, Silva, and Giakoumakis, respectively. When Brooks Lennon put up Thiaré for the game’s second goal in the 65th minute, the replacements were immediately beneficial.

Thiaré’s first goal as a member of the 5-Stripes was scored on his birthday and with his first touch. Chicago started to put additional pressure on Atlanta to attempt to break the Atlanta clean sheet, but Atlanta United held firm defensively. In the 84th minute, Carlos Teran struck Mosquera, resulting in the red card being awarded to Chicago. Wiley and Muyumba were replaced by Luis Abram and Dax McCarty during Atlanta’s final substitutions.

In the 89th minute, Thiaré nearly scored his second goal of the game, but the goal was ruled offside. Guzan maintained his bid for a second clean sheet in five games of the 2024 season by standing tall during a free kick in the 91st minute with six minutes remaining in stoppage time. As the 5-Stripes hammered the Chicago keeper, Chris Brady, on final shots, Brady had little chance. In the final seconds of the game,

Thiaré scored his second goal because he felt he wasn’t finished yet. With nine points overall in the Eastern Conference standings, Atlanta United concluded the day with a win.

Next Saturday, April 6, the 5-Stripes will return to the road as they head north to play New York City FC. The game is set to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Watch the game on Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass!

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