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Friday December 14th, 2018 3:50AM

Five-goal barrage carries Atlanta United to easy win over LAFC

By AccessWDUN

ATLANTA — Atlanta United defeated LAFC 5-0 in front of 45,207 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday night.

Julian Gressel broke a scoreless tie in the 17th minute and added an assist to Josef Martinez in the second half to put Atlanta comfortably ahead.

Atlanta then added three goals, including two penalties from Miguel Almirón, in the match’s final 10 minutes.  The final goal came from Romario Williams, the first of his MLS career, helping Atlanta match its longest winning streak in club history with four matches. 

Atlanta started the scoring for the fourth time in five matches this season. Almirón’s cross went across the mouth of the goal and ultimately found a wide-open Gressel, who easily put Atlanta ahead 1-0.

Martinez doubled Atlanta’s lead in the 67th minute with a perfect cross from Gressel. Kevin Kratz started the play inside of his own half by brilliantly playing over the top of LAFC’s defense for a streaking Gressel. Gressel latched on and dribbled near the end line before lobbing a cross to the back post that Martinez headed in easily.

Atlanta put the game out of hand in the final 10 minutes. After video review, Atlanta was awarded a penalty in the 88th minute that Almirón scored by going to the left corner. Just four minutes later, after a hand ball inside of the box, Almirón stepped back to the spot and converted again to the bottom left corner. In the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time, Williams capped the night with a left-footed shot to the near post that beat an outstretched Tyler Miller.

Atlanta United (4-1-0, 12 points) returns to action at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday, April 15 against NYCFC (6 p.m., FS1).

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