Gustavo Bou scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season before halftime and the New England Revolution snapped a season-long three-match winless run with a 1-0 victory at Atlanta United on Saturday.
Brad Knighton made five saves for New England (8-3-3, 27 points) to snap his team’s stretch of five consecutive games conceding multiple goals. It was a first clean sheet since 2018 for Knighton, who is deputizing while Matt Turner is on international duty at the Concacaf Gold Cup.
Atlanta (2-4-7, 13 points) saw their winless run extend to eight matches and failed to score for a fourth match in their last five in the first game since the apparent exposure of a feud between manager Gabriel Heinze and all-time club leading scorer Josef Martinez.
Heinze revealed Thursday it was his decision to make Martinez train on his own away from the rest of the team, and not due to fitness concerns as had been previously stated.
Martinez had scored twice this season after missing nearly all of the 2020 season with an ACL tear.
The Revolution took the lead after 18 minutes when Wilfrid Kaptoum was played free down the right and then crossed toward Adam Buksa near the penalty spot.
Buksa lost his footing as he collected the pass, but still managed to slot a ball left for Bou, who hammered a finish that deflected off an Atlanta defender and beyond Alec Kann.
Moments later, it appeared Machop Chol had scored a quick equalizer for Atlanta, but it was quickly and correctly ruled offside.
New England nearly made it 2-0 seven minutes later when Carles Gil carved out some space beyond the penalty arc and unfurled a left-footed strike that struck the left post.
Atlanta probably had more in terms of possession and chances after halftime, but the latter were sparse throughout the final 45 minutes.
United perhaps came closest to scoring in the 81st minute, when Amar Sejdic’s long-range effort nearly forced a rebound from Knighton.
Dissatisfied Atlanta fans chanted Martinez’s name in the final minutes.
–Field Level Media