Jul 28, 2018; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez (left) celebrates his goal against Montreal Impact with teammates during the first half at Stade Saputo. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Nothing is stopping Josef Martínez right now.
Not an hour-plus weather delay and certainly not the Montreal Impact defense.
Martínez scored two goals in Atlanta United’s 2-1 win in Montreal on Saturday. He now has 24 goals on the season and is closing in on the league’s all-time single-season scoring record of 27 goals.
In the 31st minute, Héctor Villalba got behind the Montreal defense on the left wing and was able to pick out an open Martínez in the middle of the box. Martínez scored with a powerful header.
Not long after the halftime whistle, the match went into a weather delay. Rain, thunder and lightning in Montreal caused both teams to stay in their locker rooms for more than an hour before the match restarted.
After the delay, Martínez picked up where he left off. Franco Escobar set up Julian Gressel for a shot in the box. The rebound of Gressel’s shot popped back to Escobar, who fired a shot that was blocked off the line. Martínez was there to end the scramble by blocking a desperate clearance and sending the ball into the net in the 57th minute.
Martínez has scored in six straight matches and has 10 goals during that stretch.
Ignacio Piatti got Montreal on the board by roofing a shot in the 87th minute. Montreal did not attempt another shot in the final minutes.
“I think that we did our role like we normally do at home,” Atlanta coach Tata Martino said through a translator on the FOX Sports Southeast broadcast. “We tried to do the same thing away. We play as one team and I think we deserve three great points today.”
With the win, Atlanta earned some separation in the Supporters’ Shield race. The Five Stripes are four points clear of No. 2 New York City FC, which plays Sunday at Seattle.
The match also featured Eric Remedi’s first start with Atlanta. The 23-year-old Argentine midfielder debuted with 13 minutes off the bench in D.C. This time, he played all 90 minutes and partnered with Jeff Larentowicz in central midfield.
For Montreal, this was the team’s 13th loss of the season, tying them with Orlando for most defeats in the league. Despite that, Montreal remains in a playoff spot.