Atlanta United crowned MLS champions just two seasons after debut

Atlanta United crowned MLS champions just two seasons after debut

Atlanta United claimed Major League Soccer glory with a confident 2-0 win over the Portland Timbers - just 21 months after their first-ever competitive match.

Atlanta picked up the 2018 MLS Cup, their first trophy in their second season in the MLS, in front of 73,019 fans - the largest crowd in the franchise's history - with striker Josef Martinez emerging as the night's star man with a goal and assist.

After a slow start from both teams, the match suddenly came to life in the 39th minute when Martinez, who holds the record for the most goals in a single MLS season, found an open net to put the home side ahead.

Jeremy Ebobisse looked like Portland's biggest threat after an earlier mistake made way for Martinez's goal, but he was denied the chance to level the match three minutes before the break by an impressive save from Brad Guzan.

Despite trying to pile on the pressure in the second half, the Timbers failed to grab the goal they needed and Atlanta took control from a set-piece in the 54th minute.

MVP and Golden Boot winner Martinez got his head to Miguel Almiron's free kick, finding Franco Escobar at the far post for a sliding goal and capping off an impressive campaign for the Five Stripes having only joined the league as an expansion team in 2017.


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