Sunday, June 16, 2019 | ePaper

Atlanta beat Portland to seize MLS Cup crown in second season

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AFP, Atlanta :Atlanta United won the Major League Soccer title in its second season of existence, defeating the Portland Timbers 2-0 in the MLS Cup final on Saturday.Atlanta's MLS Most Valuable Player Josef Martinez led the way in front of a league-record crowd of 73,019 at Mercedes Benz Stadium, opening the scoring in the 39th minute with his 35th goal of the 2018 campaign.Argentine defender Franco Escobar doubled the score in the 54th minute as Atlanta made coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino's last match at the helm a victory before he departs to take over as coach of Mexico.Atlanta pressed from the beginning. Martinez was sent tumbling by a challenge from Larrys Mabiala in the penalty area but play was waved on and VAR backed up the call.Atlanta's Miguel Almiron had a clear chance in the 29th minute from a cross from Greg Garza but Portland goalkeeper Jeff Attinella dived right to swat the shot away.

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Argentina's Lionel Messi (right) controls the ball during a training session of the national soccer team at Barradao stadium, in preparation for the Copa America soccer tournament in Salvador, Brazil on Wednesday. On Saturday, Argentina will face Colombia for the first Group B game of the South American tournament.

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