ATLANTA, GA (September 16, 2017) – Atlanta United FC set a new MLS attendance record on Saturday afternoon. In front of a single game record crowd of 70,425, they played to a 3-3 draw with Orlando City SC. Strikers Josef Martinez and Dom Dwyer shined in the game, combining for five goals and an assist.
Martinez And Dwyer Shine: Atlanta And Orlando Play To 3-3 Draw In Front Of Record MLS Crowd
Despite not seeing as much of the ball in the first half, the visitors opened the scoring 10 minutes in. Toia sent a hopeful ball into the box. Dwyer rose up past his mark and headed across goal and into the net.
Atlanta responded with a fury of chances. Almiron and Martinez were at the center of the attack. Martinez had several shooting opportunities. Almiron nearly drew a PK and had a shot go off the post in the first half. The Lions defense was finally broken in the 36th minute. Villalba found Gressel in the box who delivered a great pass past Joe Bendik. Martinez tapped it in at the far post.
Just three minutes later, Dwyer scored again on a header. He drifted past Walkes in the box and headed it again across goal after Guzan missed the ball coming off his line. The half ended 1-2.
United again came out with urgency, throwing numbers forward. Ten minutes into the half, it was Martinez’s turn to score on a header. The game was tied with both strikers on a brace.
Dwyer again created a rebuttal three minutes later. He found some space on the counter and crossed it into the box towards Cyle Larin. The No. 0 had been quiet in the match, but headed it to score. The score was 2-3 with four of the five goals coming off headers.
Atlanta again found a response. Martinez made another patented run off the back shoulder of his mark in the box in the 69th minute. Villalba found him with a cross and the forward volleyed it into the back of the net.
Neither team could find a goal in the final 20 minutes. The match ended 3-3.
10′ Orlando – Dom Dwyer, assisted by Donny Toia
36′ Atlanta – Josef Martinez, assisted by Julian Gressel and Hector Villalba
39′ Orlando – Dom Dwyer, assisted by Scott Sutter
55′ Atlanta – Josef Martinez, assisted by Chris McCann
58′ Orlando – Cyle Larin, assisted by Dom Dwyer
69′ Atlanta – Josef Martinez, assisted by Hector Villalba
This game is an instant classic and a possible MLS Game of the Year candidate. Both clubs showed up big time; so did the fans. The atmosphere was electric. Martinez and Dwyer stole the show. This game was about the star forwards balling out and scoring when they wanted to (especially on headers).
Taking a step back, this result is good for Atlanta. They prevented Orlando from closing the gap in the standings. They are still above the red line by seven points. For Orlando, they dropped points. They gave up the lead three times in this game. They are still out of the playoffs by six points. It doesn’t look good for them to make the playoffs for the first time in their three year MLS history.