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Winners and Losers in Atlanta United’s CCL home leg vs. Motagua

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Winners all around

SOCCER: FEB 25 Concacaf Champions League - Motagua at Atlanta United Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Atlanta United has progressed to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League after a strong two leg performance against F.C. Motagua. Let’s take a look at the winners and losers from Atlanta’s 3-0 win in Kennesaw.

Winners

Atlanta United

This was a great performance from the whole team (well, not the whole team due to visa issues and injuries to some crucial players) and the scoreline reflected it. Not only that, but the team performed well over the course of the whole of the 180-minute, two-legged tie. Frank de Boer’s tactical setup was solid, and the performance his players put in proved that. This team is in a better position to succeed than it was at this point in its CCL debut campaign last year, and it’s not even at full strength yet. Yes, Atlanta was better than Motagua across the board, but the foundation and vision is becoming clearer and clearer. Atlanta will have to prove that it can play that same way against better opponents, but we’ll get the chance to see that unfold soon.

Pity Martinez

Until the opening goal, Pity was finding his way to the losers list. Free kicks flying into the parking lot and shots going so wide that the opposing goalkeeper can just watch them roll out of play are not good things. However, it’s about continuing to try to do good things until it pays off, and that’s what happened for Pity. Pity finally scored what would eventually be the match winner after some really clean interplay with Josef. Pity also assisted Josef’s goal, the second of the match, and neatly tucked the third goal away to seal off one of his most impressive performances in an Atlanta United shirt. Pity now has two goals and two assists in 2020 and if he can continue impacting matches like he did against Motagua, Pity’s 2020 will be much better than his first season in Atlanta.

Josef Martinez

Josef is Josef, which means he’s going to score. He assisted Pity’s first goal of the match, but his standout moment of the match was the goal that gave Atlanta United a more comfortable lead over Motagua. Josef’s goal was made possible by a beautiful through ball from Pity that left Motagua’s goalkeeper stranded, but Josef still had a lot to do to get the goal.

Class. Similarly to the first leg against Motagua, Josef’s link up play with Pity for the first two goals was excellent. If Josef and Pity can play on the same wavelength throughout the season, Atlanta will be a dangerous team going forward.

Luiz Fernando

You know that this is about. The Brazilian — who earned a first team contract with Atlanta United late last season — made his official competitive debut for Atlanta United, and did so with a bit of flair. He nearly bagged a debut goal as well.

He has a family, Luiz.

Losers

Motagua

They lost the match and the tie. Coke > Pepsi.

FS1

First, we had to listen to Alexi Lalas for 90 minutes and then this happened.

Luis Fernando’s Victim

Any excuse to see this again.

Atlanta’s next home match situation

I know that the Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a multi-purpose venue, but it’s still incredibly disappointing that Atlanta United won’t be able to host a CCL quarterfinal rematch with Club America, the team Atlanta defeated to win the Campeones Cup, in the Benz. Atlanta United is unbeaten at Fifth-Third Bank Stadium with a 6-0-0 record, but the potential fireworks that could happen in a match like this at the Benz would be extremely fun to watch.