LA Galaxy lose at home to Atlanta United FC 2-0 on Josef Martinez opportunism

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CARSON, CA - MARCH 30: Head coach Sigi Schmid of the Los Angeles Galaxy listens as Zlatan Ibrahimovic #9 speaks during a press conference at StubHub Center on March 30, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

CARSON, Calif. – Atlanta United FC defeated LA Galaxy 2-0 at the StubHub Center on Saturday night. After missing on a penalty kick, Josef Martinez scored the game-winning goal on a rebound.

LA Galaxy lose at home to Atlanta United FC 1-0 on Josef Martinez opportunism

From the start, Atlanta United were the better team in this contest. They out-chanced the Galaxy and had higher quality chances. The Galaxy again had trouble building out of the back and were lacking in offensive creativity outside of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romain Alessandrini. When they were able to hang onto the ball for stretches, they didn’t do enough with it.

Atlanta got the first dangerous opportunity in the 19th minute when Miguel Almiron was tripped up just inside the box to draw a penalty. Josef Martinez stepped up to take the PK and hit it off the post and out. The ball was cleared.

Martinez made up for his mistake in the 22nd minute. Atlanta were pinging the ball around the top of the box when Julian Gressel received a pass with space. He fired a shot off the crossbar. The ball bounced off Galaxy defender Daniel Steres and to the feet of Martinez, who blasted it into the top of the net.

The Five Stripes continued to be the better side into the second half. David Bingham was forced to make several big (and uncomfortable) saves. Almiron had an opportunity just before the Martinez goal on the counter but hit the crossbar.

Los Angeles pushed for a goal in the late minutes, bringing on Giovani dos Santos to help create some offense. They had several chances on restarts and got the ball into dangerous positions, but could not truly challenge goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who faced just one shot on goal. The build-up was good at times, but the Galaxy just couldn’t find the finishing touch.

Substitute Romario Williams won a PK in stoppage time. Almiron stepped up and converted to seal the result for the visitors. The match ended 2-0 to Atlanta.

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