Atlanta United Ousts Philly in Semi-Final

Atlanta, GA. Atlanta United defeats Philadelphia Union 2-0 in front of a home crowd of 41,507 at Mercedes Benz stadium. Pity Martinez was named Man of the Match as he played a key role in the United victory.

The first half started slow, As the Atlanta United set up their offense looking for opportunities. The United played aggressive defense. There were a couple of early fouls by Julian Gressel and Leandro Gonzalez. Atlanta United scores early as Pity Martinez gave the assist to Julian Gressel for the score in the tenth minute. Jamiro Monteiro attempts to answer with a right footed shot that sailed high over the goal. Philadelphia Union picked up the pace and became aggressive offensively as they tried to find an answer to the United’s early goal. Brenden Aaronson of Philadelphia Union attempted a right footed shot from the centre of the box and it was conceded by Brad Guzan in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sergio Santos. The 5 stripe defense held their own with another back to back attempt by Alejandro Bedoya with a right footed shot from outside the box that misses to the left.

Both teams still operating at a steady pace, and setting up their offenses. It was evident that both teams were playing aggressive do to the numerous fouls called. With a solid defensive performance by both teams in the first half, they ended the half with Atlanta United in the lead 1-0. In the. First half, the Atlanta United had five total shots with two shots on target, two shots target and one blocked shot. The 5 Stripes had 56.4% of the possessions. Philadelphia Union had four total shots with one on target and three off target, the maintained 43.6% of the possession.

Atlanta United offense attacked the goal at the beginning of the second half. Ezequiel Barco attempted a right footed shot from the centre of the box however it was blocked. The United offense the returned with a corner attempt that was again conceded, both attempts occurred in the 48th minute. Philadelphia would eventually return fire with an attempt of their own that was blocked. From the 57th minute to the 60th, it was a shoot between both teams as they had multiple attempts during their possession.  The United defense fought hard to maintain their lead. The offense played strategically, playing at a fast paced when presented opportunities and slowing down to set up when they needed. In the 80th minute Julian Gressel makes a long range assist and finds Josef Martinez. Martinez drives in the goal for the score. Atlanta United advanced their lead to 2-0.

The Atlanta United had a total of seven shots with three on target, two shots off target and two blocked shots. The 5 Stripes maintained control of the possessions at 53.3%. Philadelphia Union with seven total shots two shots on target, three shots off target and two blocked shots. Union maintained 43.3% of the possession in the second half.

Union continued to press late in the second half for a quick score, however, the 5 Stripes maintained a solid defensive stance. They would hold on to win the match 2-0. The Atlanta United will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Written by Marcus Jones.

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