ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta United scored a pair of own-goals in the first half and Josef Martinez added a penalty kick to finish off a 3-0 victory over the LA Galaxy on Saturday, pushing the reigning MLS Cup champions into a first-place tie in the Eastern Conference.
United (12-9-3), pulling even with Philadelphia at 39 points, stretched its home unbeaten streak to 10 games in a matchup between two of the league’s top teams. Atlanta has never allowed a goal to the Galaxy, recording three straight shutouts since entering the league in 2017.
With the upper deck opened up and another MLS record crowd of 72,548 cheering on United, the home team responded with one of its best performances in what has been an up-and-down season under first-year coach Frank de Boer.
The Galaxy (12-10-1) provided plenty of help.
In the 23rd minute, Florentin Pogba retrieved a long ball at the Atlanta end of the field and worked it up to Ezequiel Barco racing through the midfield. Barco slid a nifty pass to Pity Martinez, who broke into the clear down the right side. Martinez tried to work the ball in front, where both Barco and Josef Martinez were lurking, but the pass struck defender Dave Romney, sliding across the area on his back, and deflected past helpless goalkeeper David Bingham.
Atlanta made it 2-0 with a nearly identical play in the 43rd. This time, Justin Meram sprinted free down the left side and looked to get the ball to Josef Martinez, who was open in front of the net. Defender Giancarlo Gonzalez slid across to block the pass and wound up doing the same thing as Romney — deflecting the ball past Bingham.
Atlanta sealed the victory in the 72nd after a video review showed that Emerson Hyndman was knocked down in the area by Gonzalez while going for a rebound after Bingham made a brilliant save to deny Josef Martinez. That sent Martinez to the spot for the penalty kick, which he ripped inside the left post for his 18th goal of the season.
LOS ANGELES FC 2, REVOLUTION 0
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Diego Rossi and Latif Blessing scored, Jordan Harvey had two assists and Los Angeles FC beat New England to snap the Revolution’s 11-game unbeaten streak.
MLS-leading LAFC (16-3-4) has won five of its last six games.
Harvey’s long arcing pass led Rossi to the corner of the area where he chipped a soft floater over the head of goalkeeper Matt Turner into the side net in the eighth minute. Harvey first-timed a low cross to Blessing, who patiently cut back to evade a defender before beating Turner from the top of the 6-yard box to cap the scoring in the 72nd. Tyler Miller had one save in his seventh shutout of the season.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Tesho Akindele scored against his former team in the 13th minute and Orlando City held on to beat FC Dallas.
Defender Ruan put in the leg work to get Akindele open. Ruan penetrated from the touchline into the middle of the attacking the third and sent in a through ball that allowed Akindele to directly challenge the goalkeeper with a one-timer. Carlos Ascues secured the victory with a second-half stoppage-time goal, finishing Sacha Kljestan’s flick pass from close range. It was Ascues’ first goal with Orlando City (8-11-5).
Brian Rowe had two saves for his sixth shutout of the season.
FC Dallas dropped to 9-9-6.
WHITECAPS 2, FC CINCINNATI 1
CINCINNATI (AP) — Felipe scored in the 84th minute to help Vancouver end its nine-game winless streak and hand expansion FC Cincinnati its fourth straight loss.
Russell Teibert chased down Ali Adnan’s pass and crossed it through the goalkeeper’s legs to Felipe, who smashed it home from close range.
Hwang In-Beom made it 1-all for the Whitecaps (5-11-9) in the 41st minute, following Kendall Waston’s attempted clearance with a low hard shot from outside the area.
Allan Cruz gave FC Cincinnati (5-17-2) the lead in the sixth minute. Mathieu Deplagne’s cross came off of Darren Mattocks and fell to Cruz who finished from the top of the 6-yard box.
RAPIDS 6, IMPACT 3
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) — Kei Kamara scored the second hat trick of his career and Colorado used a flurry of first-half goals to beat Montreal.
Kamara gave Colorado (6-12-5) a 2-1 lead in the 36th minute with a penalty kick and made it 3-1 in the first minute of first-half stoppage time. Three minutes later, Diego Rubio scored to make it 4-1 before halftime.
Kamara netted his hat trick with a header to cap the scoring in the 90th minute.
Andre Shinyashiki also scored and Colorado had another on Montreal’s own goal. Maximiliano Urruti and Saphir Taïder scored for Montreal (11-11-3), which also got an own goal.
REAL SALT LAKE 3, NEW YORK CITY FC 1
SANDY, Utah (AP) — Albert Rusnák, Jefferson Savarino and Nick Besler scored and Kyle Beckerman had two assists in Real Salt Lake’s victory over New York City FC.
Alexander Ring scored for NYCFC (9-4-8).
FIRE 1, DYNAMO 0
HOUSTON (AP) — Nemanja Nikolic scored and Kenneth Kronholm had his second consecutive shutout to help Chicago beat Houston.
The kickoff was delayed nearly 40 minutes because of lightning in the area.
Nicolás Gaitán played a long arcing entry to Nikolic, who redirected it into the net from point-blank range to give Chicago the lead in the third minute of first-half stoppage time.
Chicago (6-10-9) snapped a five-game winless streak.
The Dynamo (9-11-3) have lost five of their last six games
CREW 1, EARTHQUAKES 1, TIE
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Gyasi Zardes tied it with a header in the 65th minute and Columbus ended San Jose’s four-game winning streak with the draw.
Zardes was wide open at the top of the 6-yard box when he headed down Luis Díaz’s cross. The Crew (7-14-4) had a two-game winning streak snapped.
Magnus Eriksson opened the scoring with a penalty kick for the Quakes (11-7-5) in the 41st minute. San Jose was awarded the penalty due to a hand ball in the area.
RED BULLS 2, TORONTO FC 0
HARRISON, N.J. (AP) — Kemar Lawrence scored his first goal of the season and Luis Robles had three saves to help New York beat Toronto.
Alejandro Romero Gamarra also scored for the Red Bulls (10-9-4). Toronto dropped to 9-10-5.