Josef Martinez scored his MLS-best 14th goal before departing with an injury to help Atlanta United to a 2-0 victory, and snap Columbus Crew SC’s s nine-game unbeaten streak.
Atlanta (10-3-3) strengthened its grip on first place in the Eastern Conference by improving to 5-0-2 in the past seven away matches.
Martinez scored in the 30th minute and Hector Villalba converted a pass by Miguel Almiron in the 82nd.
Columbus (7-4-6) could have tied Atlanta in points but instead dropped to 0-1-3 over four matches.
Martinez has six goals during a four-game scoring streak. He went over Crew midfielder Artur to put a header past Zack Steffen. The service came off a corner kick by Ezequiel Barco. It was Atlanta’s initial shot of the match.
Martinez paid a price for the goal when his chin hit the back of the head Columbus’ Christian Martinez, forcing him out of the match for treatment for several minutes before returning. However, Martinez was replaced to start the second half by Romario Williams.
Steffen, who missed the past two Crew matches while away with the U.S. National Team, had his shutout streak end at 525 minutes.
Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who made a franchise-record nine saves in a 1-1 tie against New York City FC on Saturday, kept United ahead in the 51st minute by reaching down with his left hand to deny Gyasi Zardes his 11th goal. Guzan stopped a turnaround shot from Luis Argudo in the 71st, and finished with three saves.
Atlanta next plays a U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 game at home against the Chicago Fire on June 20 and its next MLS match is June 24 vs. Portland at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The Crew travels to Los Angeles FC on June 23.
—Field Level Media