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ATLANTA, GEORGIA—The highly anticipated return of Venezuelan striker Josef Martinez to the soccer field did not end well as planned, as the 13-game unbeaten streak of Atlanta United at home had officially ended on May 28. The home team suffered a heartbreaking 1-2 defeat at the hands of the visiting Columbus Crew SC at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Despite its failure to score in six of their last eight matches, the visitor drew first blood in the game as defender Jonathan Mensah scored a header on a corner kick to put Columbus ahead 1-0. In the 45th minute, the visitor scored again to make 2-0.
Later in the game, the home team scored a goal to make it 1-2 in the end. Martinez entered the match at halftime as a substitute, but he failed to score for his team.

While he is sad that they lose, Martinez is happy to be back on the field once again playing. “Today, I feel good, I feel happy to be back in the locker room with them,” Martínez said. “Obviously not the best result, but it’s soccer. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. We created a lot of chances. We have to improve because we concede a lot of goals, easy goals. Then, we have to keep going. The season is still far,” Martinez added.

United will have a few weeks off as it heads into the international break based on their schedule. The team’s next game happens on June 14 when it hosts CF Pachuca at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the inaugural American Family Insurance Cup. Then, Atlanta United returns to MLS play on June 19 when it hosts Inter Miami CF.