MONTREAL, Quebec (April 15, 2017) — Despite playing down a man for the entire second half, Atlanta United battled with the reigning Eastern Conference runners-up until the final seconds of the match, when Montreal’s Anthony Jackson-Hamel scored the game-winning goal off of a redirection. Leading 1-0 with a goal from Kenwyne Jones, Atlanta was forced to 10 men when Leandro Gonzalez Pirez was sent off in first-half stoppage time.
“I think the whole team played a very good game, with different ways of playing in the first half and the second half,” Atlanta head coach Tata Martino said. “And a great effort.”
In his first career MLS start, Jones scored his first league goal in the 40th minute, giving Atlanta a 1-0 lead. Carlos Carmona intercepted a pass from goalkeeper Evan Bush before feeding Tito Villalba. The Argentine winger then played Jones in on goal with a pass to his feet that Jones powerfully one-timed past Bush.
But the match changed deep into first-half stoppage time when Gonzalez Pirez was sent off for taking down Matteo Mancosu inside of the box. Ignacio Piatti took the ensuing penalty kick and just beat Alec Kann’s diving effort, past his outstretched arms, for an equalizer.
Martino was forced to change his lineup and brought in Anton Walkes for Julian Gressel, but even without the extra attacking option, Atlanta held its own and looked destined to split the points on Saturday. However, with just 90 seconds left in the match, Jackson-Hamel redirected a long attempt from Hernan Bernardello that awkwardly snuck into the far post.
Atlanta returns to action next Saturday against Real Salt Lake, the final match of a four-game road trip. The club will return home to Bobby Dodd Stadium to face D.C. United on Sunday, April 30.