Atlanta United appeared destined for a disappointing 1-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes to open its 2023 MLS season. Thanks to some stoppage-time heroics by Thiago Almada, though, they escaped with a 2-1 win for one of the most memorable finishes in club history.
With the 4th official having called for 7 minutes of stoppage time, Almada scored an absolute golazo in the 3rd minute of added time from a Brooks Lennon corner kick to level it at 1-1, putting Mercedes-Benz Stadium in a frenzy.
If that had been the last of it, Atlanta United fans would have been able to go home somewhat happy. But after Derrick Etienne won a free kick in front of the San Jose box in the dying embers of the match, Almada stepped up to take it. And the result sent the Benz into absolute raptures.
THIAGO.— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) February 26, 2023
Thiago Almada only scores bangers™️ pic.twitter.com/jTcaN2t0Nu— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) February 26, 2023
Here’s how it looked from the press box:
Thiago Almada’s goal from the press box. #ATLUTD #WeAreTheA #SomosAtlanta pic.twitter.com/N9H5MX6gDj— Sydney Hunte (@SHWrites) February 26, 2023
Almada will surely be in the running for Goal of the Week for his late winner. And because of it, Atlanta walked off the pitch with an improbable 2-1 victory.