Rain Delays? No problem! After a one hour wait due to inclement weather, Atlanta kicked off vs Houston in what ended up being an exciting 90 minutes for Atlanta United fans. Almost a month went by without earning 3 points, and analysts and fans were beginning to wonder if they’d ever see the team perform as well as they did in the beginning of the season. Miguel Almiron and the Five Stripes had an answer, putting on quite the performance in front of a fourth straight sellout crowd en route to a 4-1 rout of the Houston Dynamo.
The back lines were standing tall to begin the match, and neither team saw many real opportunities until about midway through the first half. Houston was awarded a free kick from just outside the box in the 28th minute, but Alec Kann denied Garcia’s attempt. Shortly after, Yamil Asad set up Miguel Almiron for what was described as “an absolute peach” that quickly made it’s way past Joe Willis and put Atlanta in the lead. It was the ninth time this season that the Five Stripes opened the scoring. Atlanta 1, Houston 0
Although his first goal was a beaut, Almiron was far from done. No one is too sure how Miguel was able to get the ball through three Houston defenders, but he did and topped it off with an upper 90 goal in the 41st minute. The goal happened at the same time as the “A….T…..L” chant that 92.9 The Game was able to capture in a video that will be sure to give you chills
— 92.9 The Game (@929TheGame) May 21, 2017
Atlanta 2, Houston 0
Halftime in Atlanta. While Tata could have parked the bus to virtually guarantee the win, Atlanta wasn’t going to slow down for the next 45 minutes.
Early on in the second half, Tata Martino kicked a ball that came on the sideline and after a long argument, was sent off the field. While he probably deserved the ejection, Tata shared his thoughts after the game, saying “I don’t think I necessarily deserved to get kicked out.”
After scoring his first MLS goal last week, a 76′ goal from Julian Gressel gave the Five Stripes a comfortable cushion after Houston brought in two of their best players in an attempt to even things up. Gressel originally lost the ball in the box, but a brilliant tackle from Villalba set up the shot. Julian admits he has no idea how the ball ended up back in his tracks, saying “I really have no idea what happened behind me until I saw the ball again.” Atlanta 3, Houston 0
This wouldn’t be the end of an incredible night for Atlanta United.
Just 4 minutes later, Villalba was taken down in the box which gave Atlanta United it’s first penalty kick in the teams short history. A perfect stage was set for Miguel Almiron to complete his hat trick, and he did just that. Joe Willis guessed the wrong way, and Miggy easily found the bottom left corner. Atlanta 4, Houston 0
Houston was awarded a PK in the 90th minute after a Larentowicz was called for a hand ball in the box. The goal gave Torres his 9th goal of the season, boosting his golden boot resume. Atlanta 4, Houston 1
Despite the goal, Alec Kann probably played the best 90 of his season tonight, helping Atlanta to a three point weekend. The win came at a perfect time, giving the Five Stripes some serious momentum heading into their rematch against NYCFC. Although the 3-1 result against the boys in blue two weeks ago didn’t favor Atlanta, we will see how NYC is able to play in the best atmosphere that the MLS has to offer. No, seriously – Atlanta United fans, give yourselves a pat on the back after last night. Despite the terrible weather, there wasn’t an empty seat in the house, and your support helped the team get right back on track. Let’s keep it going next week, hopefully it will be dry!