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Thursday August 16th, 2018 10:11AM

Atlanta United defeats Chicago Fire 2-1, extends unbeaten streak to 8

By AccessWDUN Staff

ATLANTA — Atlanta United defeated Chicago Fire 2-1 Saturday night at Toyota Park behind a pair of second-half goals from Ezequiel Barco and Josef Martinez. It was Martinez’s seventh goal of the season, which leads all of MLS, while Barco scored the first goal of his Atlanta career. With the win, Atlanta ran its unbeaten streak to eight consecutive matches, equaling the longest unbeaten streak in club history, and jumped into first place in the Supporters’ Shield race with 22 points from nine matches.

After an even first half, Atlanta opened the scoring in the 53rd minute. Miguel Almirón won the ball back in the attacking half, dribbled towards the penalty area and played in a streaking Barco on the left side of the box, who struck a left-footed shot first time and past Chicago goalkeeper Richard Sanchez. Just four minutes later, Greg Garza split the Chicago defense and found a cutting Darlington Nagbe at the edge of the six-yard box, where the midfielder calmly laid the ball off to Martinez who tapped in the game-winner.

Quickly after Atlanta’s second goal, Chicago got on the board in the 61st minute when Kevin Ellis scored for the home side. Atlanta was forced to defend in the final 20 minutes, repeatedly clearing waves of crosses as Chicago sent balls into the box in search of an equalizer. The group defended well and Atlanta held on for its third road victory of the season.

Atlanta United (7-1-1, 22 points) returns to action at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Wednesday, May 9, against Sporting Kansas City (7:30 p.m., FOX Sports South).

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