March 21, 2023
Almada stars as Atlanta crushes Portland, St. Louis sets record

Almada stars as Atlanta crushes Portland, St. Louis sets record

World Cup-winning Argentine Thiago Almada turned in a virtuoso performance and scored twice as Atlanta United beat the Portland Timbers 5-1 in Major League Soccer on Saturday.

New Boys St.Louis City became the first expansion franchise in MLS history to win its opening four games after beating San Jose 3-0.

Montreal scored twice in the final minutes for a stunning 3-2 comeback win over last season’s runners-up Philadelphia Union, while New York City survived a late comeback from Wayne Rooney’s DC United to emerge with a 3-2 win.

The 21-year-old Almada has quickly established himself as the most exciting player to watch in the North American league, and after his brilliant stoppage-time free kick in week one, he fared better against the Timbers.

Teenager Caleb Wiley had put Atlanta ahead with a serene shot in the 25th, but on the stroke of halftime Almada hit a pearl free kick from nearly 30 yards into the top corner of the goal.

Former Celtic Greece striker Giorgos Giakoumakis added the third with a firm header from Wiley’s pinpoint cross before midfielder Almada assisted Brazil’s Luiz Araujo to make it 4-0.

Portland rallied a goal back through Tega Ikoba before Almada completed the rout, capping off his game-winning performance by spinning on the edge of the box before slotting the ball into the bottom corner.

St. Louis made history in their second home game since entering the league by extending their 100% record with another impressive display.

Nicholas Gioacchini put the hosts ahead in the 34th minute before a solo effort from Brazilian Joao Klauss doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time.

Czech Tomas Ostrak scored the third, firing slightly wide from outside the box as the 29th-ranked club in the league continued their dream start.

– Montreal surprises Philadelphia –

Montreal had lost their first three games before Philadelphia’s visit, but Romell Quioto of Honduras gave them a lead in the third minute from the penalty spot.

The Union roared back, with two welcome goals from Danish striker Mikael Uhre either side of the interval putting them in charge.

The game turned around in the 69th minute when Philadelphia’s Julián Carranza was sent off after a second booking, leaving his team to defend their 10-man lead.

Nigerian striker Chinonso Offor equalized in the 90th minute before, in the eighth minute of stoppage time Quioto headed a dramatic game-winner past the far post.

New York City led 2-0 at halftime against DC thanks to goals from Brazil’s Talles Magno and Uruguay’s Santiago Rodríguez.

But a header from Belgian Christian Benteke brought the visitors back into the game.

Thiago Andrade restored New York’s two-goal lead in the 88th minute only with Steve Birnbaum’s header from a corner to give United a glimmer of hope.

Birnbaum had a chance to equalize in stoppage time, but this time he couldn’t head in as NYC picked up its second win of the season.

After winning their first two games, both at home, Inter Miami suffered another setback on the road with second-half goals from Jonathan Osorio and Mark-Anthony Kaye earning all three points for Toronto at cold BMO Field.

Seattle largely dominated against LAFC with Slovakian Albert Rusnak hitting the post, but the home team lacked sharpness in front of goal.

A point against the champions is not a disgrace, but Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer was not at all happy with the result.

“No. We needed to do better at home. We needed to take advantage of some of the half chances, the buildup that was almost there, and create more full chances. And then maybe we would have scored the goal,” he said. .

Orlando City, knocked out of the CONCACAF Champions League by the Mexican Tigers in midweek, suffered a heavy setback with a 2-1 home loss to Charlotte that saw Argentina’s Enzo Copetti and Colombia’s Kerwin Vargas in the bow.


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