Atlanta had a strong opportunity to score, after Miguel Almiron drew a penalty from Daniel Steres in the 19th minute, but Josef Martinez’s PK attempt clanged off the post. The Venezuelan found redemption a couple minutes later, turning in a bouncing ball that hit the woodwork moments earlier to open the scoring for the Five Stripes.
Both teams had chances from there, but the final chance was most definitive, as substitute Romario Williams drew a penalty and Almiron iced the win with the spot kick.
- THE BIG PICTURE: For a game billed as a battle of MLS stars, this one didn’t quite have the fireworks. While Martinez scored again to keep up his blistering pace for his MLS career, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was quiet, Giovani dos Santos came off the bench and had little effect, and Jonathan dos Santos was a late scratch after picking up a calf injury in pregame warmups.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Clear-cut chances between two potentially potent attacks were at a premium, and so the play of the game was Martinez’s goal, a ball that somehow bounced off the crossbar and Steres before he pushed it into the empty net.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Almiron drew a penalty, scored another penalty, took the brunt of LA’s fouls, and was decisive in pushing play forward, so the Atlanta United midfielder gets the nod.