COLUMBUS, Ohio — Josef Martinez added to his Major League Soccer-leading goal total with his 14th before exiting the game with an apparent injury suffered on the play.
Atlanta widened its lead in the Eastern Conference over second-place New York City FC to five points and six over the third-place Crew, improving to 5-0-2 in its last seven away matches.
Scoring in the 30th minute, Martinez outjumped Crew midfielder Artur to drive the headed past keeper Zack Steffan who was returning from U.S. National Team duty. Martinez came down hard on the play, his chin hitting the back of Crew SC’s Christian Martinez. Atlanta’s Martinez left the game to receive treatment before returning to the game, he did not, however, return to the game as the second half started.
Atlanta keeper Brad Guzan kept the Crew from equalizing in the 51st minute, making a left-handed save on Gyasi Zardes’ shot. That wasn’t the last time on the night that Guzan stymied the Crew, stopping a quick turnaround shot by Luis Argudo in the 71st minute. Guzan finished with three saves on the night.
Atlanta sealed the win in the 82nd minute, when Hector Villalba finished a counterattack break, the assist coming from Miguel Almiron pass.
MLS now enters a nine-day break for the World Cup with the Crew returning to action at Los Angeles FC on June 23rd.
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