Atlanta United cruised to a 4-0 victory against Colorado Rapids in Mercedes-Benz Stadium after a complete performance that the team had been missing for a while.
The win leaves Atlanta United with 21 points and a 6-3-4 record.
The gameday squad featured Miguel Berry leading the line for the second match in a row and Ronald Hernandez replacing a suspended Andrew Gutman. Gonzalo Pineda decided to shake things up in midfield by starting Santiago Sosa and Matheus Rossetto. With Caleb Wiley away with the USA’s U-20 squad, Derrick Etienne Jr was handed the starting duties at left wing.
The Five Stripes seem to have found the energy they had been lacking the past couple of games as they quickly began creating chances and taking shots early.
The first golden opportunity for Atlanta United came in the 8th minute after it was awarded a penalty kick for a handball inside Colorado’s box. Thiago Almada stepped up to take the penalty but put it wide. Having missed the spot kick, the match remained scoreless early on.
Atlanta United kept pushing for the opener and earned a free kick at the top of the Rapids’ box in the 29th minute. Almada stepped up once again and made no mistake with the set piece. After making up for his earlier penalty miss, the Argentine’s goal gave Atlanta a 1-0 lead.
Attacking dominance was a hallmark of Atlanta United during the first half, outshooting Colorado 14-1 and putting four on target to the Rapids’ one. Another encouraging sign is the volume of shots being taken inside the box was greater than in some of the previous games. This time, Atlanta had seven shots inside the box during the first 45 with three of them being on target.
Atlanta’s dominance continued throughout the second half and only became more dangerous with Giorgos Giakoumakis’ entrance. The hosts’ attacking play would be rewarded with a second goal after Luiz Araujo dribbled the ball from the middle of the pitch into Colorado’s box before calmly tapping it past William Yarbrough to double the lead. After 80 minutes of play, the Five Stripes were ahead by a 2-0 score.
But the goals didn’t stop there. Just minutes after subbing on, Georgia native Tyler Wolff put the seal on victory after backheeling a shot rebound into the net. His goal put Atlanta United up 3-0 with just minutes left in the game.
Atlanta’s Greek striker wasn’t going to leave without putting his stamp on the game, however. After Brooks Lennon put a ball over the top to Giakoumakis, he chipped the ball over the keeper to increase the lead to 4-0.
After a long streak of bad results, Five Stripe fans can finally celebrate a win and three well-earned points at home.
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