Record-setting Martinez keeps Atlanta on track
Josef Martinez scored two goals to set an MLS record by scoring in his 10th consecutive game and host Atlanta United held on for a 2-1 victory over New York City FC on Sunday afternoon.
Atlanta United (13-9-3, 42 points) won for the fourth time in five games and also moved four points ahead of NYCFC (10-5-8), while running its home unbeaten streak to 11 games (10-0-1) thanks to Martinez, who has 74 goals in 76 regular-season games since joining the team before the 2017 season.
Martinez scored his latest goals after he was idle for most of the week due to an adductor injury sustained Monday in training. He was hardly at 100 percent but wound up scoring 14th and 15th goals in the streak which began May 24 against Real Salt Lake.
Martinez broke the record he set last year and shared with Diego Valeri, who originally achieved the mark two seasons ago. Martinez recorded his fifth multi-goal game during the streak, his sixth this season and the 18th of his MLS career.
Martinez broke the record in the 42nd minute when he blasted a header into the right side of the net off a long cross from Julian Gressel. In the 63rd minute, he struck again on a penalty kick after Gonzalo Martinez was fouled by James Sands. The goal was his 20th overall this season.
NYCFC was blanked until Heber scored his 10th goal in the 81st minute by blasting a right-footed shot past Brad Guzan.
Martinez finished with a career-high five shots on goal. He missed chances to score in the game’s opening minutes and then again in the 79th minute.
Guzan made three saves, while NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson finished with seven saves.
NYCFC lost for the fourth time in seven games since a team-record 12-game unbeaten streak.