Late goal by Josef Martinez salvages 1-1 draw for Atlanta United against Sounders FC

A  86th minute penalty conversion by Atlanta United forward (2-1-3 9 points)  Josef Martinez saw the visitors  salvage a 1-1 tie with the Seattle Sounders ( 5-0-2  17 points). Given how the game started the tie was two points lost for the Rave Green

Raul  Ruidiaz  headed  a Joao Paulo corner kick six minutes into the game to give the home side a dream start.. And all signs were pointing to another Sounders win. Atlanta had other plans as they placed an extra man in the middle of its press causing issues for the Sounders.  The extra pressing player made it difficult for the Sounder defenders to play the ball from the back.

The result was panic by the Sounders who turned the ball over numerous times creating a ball possession advantage for United.  In the first half the Sounders  defense was  tight, compact and sturdy keeping  Atlanta from creating meaningful  opportunities. Atlanta managed just one shot on goal. The Sounders who  spent the first  half kicking the ball out their half were not better as they managed just one shot .  The visitors held a hefty 62% possession advantage but was down 1-0 at the break.

CONTINUED BALL POSSESSION DOMINANCE

Atlanta continued to frustrate the Sounders in the second half but just like the first  half  was unable to create a solid shot on the  Seattle goal until the penalty. The Sounders continued to play solid defense but like their foes were stagnant when it came to the final third of possession. The Sounders inability to create any meaningful possession against the Atlanta finally took it’s toll in the 85th minute when Brad Smith fouled Atlanta’s Brooks Lennon in the box and  the visitors were awarded  a  penalty.  Martinez wasted no time  burying the spot kick to tie the game.

Despite the draw the Seattle set new record for the best start to a season in club history. The Sounders 17 points to start the season surpasses the 16 points from seven matches in 2019

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