Atlanta United FC keep their home record in tact this season as they came from behind to beat the Montreal Impact by four goals to one. Miguel Almirón and substitute Kevin Kratz helped Atlanta stay on top of the standings in Major League Soccer for the time being as the Impact capitulated once again in the second half.
Taïder puts Montreal ahead at the half
Montreal did not take long to unsettle both the home team and the fans as they pushed ahead in the 13th minute thanks to a goal by Saphir Taïder. Chris Duvall got to the byline and found Taïder who had ghosted past Darlington Nagbe and nodded home from close range.
Josef Martínez, Ezequiel Barco and Chris McCann tested the Montreal goal but each time, Evan Bush was on hand to make a great save and keep his team in front for the entirety of the first half. Montreal themselves went close on a couple of occasions to putting themselves two up, especially when Alejandro Silva was able to get through on goal but they could not find a way past Brad Guzan and give themselves a cushion going into half-time.
Atlanta turn on the style in the second half
Atlanta came out in the second half like a different team. Their combination play was improved and they began to find gaps in the Montreal backline. Chris Duvall, who had been the architect of the Impact's goal then became the architect for Atlanta's equalizer. The right back had a penalty called against him as his hand prevent McCann from scoring in the 66th minute and Almirón managed to squeeze the penalty past Bush to level things up in the 67th minute. Kevin Kratz, who had come in for Greg Garza, then scored the best goal of the game in the 78th minute. The midfielder stepped up to take a free-kick just outside the penalty area and curled the ball over the wall and into the far corner, much to the happy delirium of the home crowd.
Montreal, who after today have conceded 25 goals, were wide open far too often in the second half and were punished by a clinical Atlanta side. Almirón got his second of the day when in transition, Atlanta exposed Montreal and the ball fell kindly to the Paraguayan who slotted home first time. Almirón could have had his third in stoppage time but his effort came crashing off the near post and away from goal. In the end, Kratz came up with another fantastic free-kick from even further out to give Atlanta their fourth goal and the cherry on top of a well-earned 4-1 win.
Atlanta will travel to Chicago next week and try to keep their momentum going while the Impact have a home game against New England. Atlanta have a great chance to pick up another win while Montreal will need to find a way to shore up a leaky backline.