For the second straight game, the goals came early and often for Atlanta United FC.
In the first all-time meeting between the MLS expansion side and league original, the Five Stripes romped to a 7-0 win over the New England Revolution Wednesday night. Josef Martinez notched his second hat trick of the season in the historic rout in front of 42,511 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The result marks just the fourth time in league history that a team completed a win by a seven-goal margin of victory and the third which ended 7-0. The most recent example came on May 21, 2016 when the New York Red Bulls defeated Tri-State area rival New York City FC. It’s also the worst defeat in the Revs 22-year history.
Atlanta United FC Completes Historic Rout of New England Revolution
Martinez’s big day began almost right after the first half kickoff. The dynamic Venezuelan center forward came onto a perfectly weighted through ball from Miguel Almiron in the second minute. He then dribbled towards goal and blasted it near post past Revs goalkeeper Cody Cropper at an acute angle for an impressive opening goal.
Such an early goal served as a big blow for the Revs, who needed points coming into this game to aid their playoff hopes. Not long thereafter, they received even a more significant setback. In the 16th minute, Xavier Kouassi stomped on the ankle of Yamil Asad, prompting referee Baldomero Toledo to give the Ivorian midfielder a straight red card.
That certainly opened up the field for the hosts while putting the visitors on the back foot. And in the 31st minute, Atlanta took full advantage. A Greg Garza shot from outside the box hit the hand of new Revs signing Claude Dielna, and Toledo made no hesitation pointing to the spot. Martinez converted the spot kick to double the advantage.
That wouldn’t be the first time a ball made contact with the hand of a Revs player in the first half. Seven minutes later, center back Antonio Delamea became the latest offender. Initially, it elicited no whistle from Toledo. But after VAR had a look, he reversed the no call, gave Atlanta another penalty and sent off Delamea for a deliberate hand ball.
Martinez stepped up to the spot once again and slotted it past Cropper to his right to complete the hat trick. It moved him into a tie for tenth in the 2017 MLS goal-scoring standings with 13. He’s now averaging a goal or an assist every 67.5 minutes which is more frequent than the league’s leading goal-scorer, NYC’s David Villa.
Down to nine men, the Revs were certainly susceptible to conceding more. Anton Walkes connected with fellow fullback Greg Garza right before halftime to make it 4-0 at the break. Kevin Kratz, Yamil Asad and Hector Villalba added three more in the second stanza. In addition to the final goal tally, the 21-0 advantage for Atlanta in the total shots department confirms how epically one-sided this match was.
The emphatic win certainly confirms Atlanta United as one of the hottest teams in MLS as the playoffs approach. The Five Stripes are undefeated in nine of their last ten, including six wins in that span. With the club’s next four at their new digs, the outlook is promising for them to continue ascending the Eastern Conference standings.
The first of those games takes place Saturday as Orlando City SC comes to town in the last of three meetings between the two in 2017. The match kicks off at 3:55 PM ET with Univision providing national television coverage.