Thiago Almada scores lone goal as Atlanta blanks D.C.

League: MLS

Posted on: 20 Jun, 2024 at 04:08 AM

Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Thiago Almada's spectacular second-half goal gave Atlanta United a 1-0 road victory over D.C. United on Wednesday.

Almada's fifth goal of the season broke open a scoreless match in the 79th minute. The midfielder first took the ball on the left side of the field, then maneuvered into the front of the box and launched a well-placed right-footed shot into the net.

The Five Stripes (5-8-5, 20 points) won for the first time under interim head coach Rob Valentino. Atlanta is 1-0-1 in two matches since former coach Gonzalo Pineda was fired on June 3.

Brad Guzan made four saves for his fourth shutout of the season. The veteran goalkeeper's biggest stop came in the 87th minute, when he knocked aside a dangerous header from Christian Benteke.

The loss extended D.C. United's winless streak to seven matches (0-5-2). D.C. hasn't won since its previous meeting with Atlanta United, a 3-2 victory in Atlanta on May 11.

Goalkeeper Tyler Miller made three saves in his first appearance of the season for D.C. United (4-8-7, 19 points). Regular starter Alex Bono had played every minute of D.C.'s previous 18 matches.

Nine of D.C. United's 33 goals conceded this season have come after the 75th minute.

The Five Stripes deployed a defensive-minded 5-3-2 formation on Wednesday. The new shape reflected both a lineup limited by injuries and international absences, and also a clear attempt to contain Benteke, who had a hat trick against Atlanta on May 11.

Benteke was held scoreless on four shots (two on target) on Wednesday. Benteke had a close-range chance blocked by Guzan and defender Derrick Williams in the final moments of second-half stoppage time.

D.C. outshot Atlanta by a 19-10 margin.

Atlanta United is 2-3-3 in road games this season. D.C. United dropped to 3-4-3 at home.

Almada received a yellow card in the 18th minute, and will receive a suspension for caution accumulation. He will miss Atlanta's match at St. Louis City on Saturday.

--Field Level Media