Josef Martinez Ties MLS Season Goal Record as Atlanta Tops Columbus

Written by Brian Pohl

Atlanta, Ga- In front of an announced crowd of 45,303, Atlanta United regained sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference with a 3-1 victory over the Columbus Crew.


A fast-paced match from start to finish, Atlanta United was able to outlast the Crew with two late goals in the second-half from Tito Villalba and Miguel Almiron.


The scoring wouldn’t start immediately, as the match would remain tied at nil until the 30th minute, where Atlanta United’s star forward Josef Martinez would find the back of the net with a beautiful finish, giving the Five Stripes a 1-0 lead, which would hold through the rest of the first half.


The goal had historical implications for Martinez, who with the goal would tie the MLS single-season scoring record with 27 goals, as well as tie the MLS record for consecutive matches with a goal scored at eight. With nine matches left on the schedule, it’s only a matter of time before Martinez becomes the outright leader of both records.


Martinez was asked after the match on his thoughts on tying the MLS single-season scoring record, but he doesn’t want to comment on it until he brakes the record. He said, “After I get my 28th I’ll have something [to say].”


The Columbus Crew wouldn’t go away quietly, as they would use the fast-pace to score quickly into the start of the second half. In the 50th minute of the match, Gyasi Zardes would even the match at one-all with a strike passed veteran goalkeeper Brad Guzan. The Crew would have several opportunities to stun the Five Stripes in the following minutes, but Guzan and his surrounding defenseman would stand tough, allowing Atlanta to regain themselves and find an offensive groove that led to the final score.


The first of the two final goals by Atlanta would come in the 76th minute, where forward Tito Villalba would streak across the box, striking the ball back across his body and into the net for the 2-1 lead. The goal was Villalba’s fourth of the season, and teammate Josef Martinez would express his excitement for Tito who has worked hard to regain his scoring form following an injury earlier in the season.


The final nail in the coffin by Atlanta would come in the 82nd minute, as Miguel Almiron would send an assist from Josef Martinez into the net for the 3-1 lead and the final. The goal was the ninth of the season for the man they call “Miggy,” matching his goal total from last season.


Martinez would be named Man of the Match after scoring once in his three shot attempts while adding the assist on Almiron’s goal to take home the Golden Spike.


With the win, Atlanta United takes three points bringing their season total up to 51 and giving them sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference standings.


The Five Stripes will next travel down to Orlando to take on Orlando City SC on August 24th at 8:00 p.m. With Orlando struggling, this serves as a great opportunity for Atlanta to separate themselves from the field in the conference standings.

Share This Story:

Related Content