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2022 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Josef Martínez (60' PEN)
  • Jake Mulraney (90'+6')
  • Adam Armour (66')

Atlanta United scores late to beat expansion Charlotte FC

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Adam Armour's header levels Charlotte with Atlanta (0:44)

Charlotte's Adam Armour puts a headed-effort into the back of the net to help his team draw 1-1 with Atlanta. (0:44)

Jake Mulraney scored on a shot that bounced off a Charlotte FC defender in the 96th minute to give host Atlanta United FC a 2-1 win on Sunday.

Charlotte FC (0-3-0, 0 points) scored its first-ever Major League Soccer goal, but that strike wasn't enough to give them any points in a budding rivalry with Atlanta (2-1-0, 6 points).

The scoring finally broke open in the 60th minute, when Josef Martinez -- using his signature hesitation style -- buried a penalty kick to put Atlanta on the board. Martinez blasted a right-footed shot into the lower left corner, just out of reach for Charlotte's diving goalkeeper, Kristijan Kahlina. It was the first goal of the year for Martinez, and the 90th in his MLS career.

Brooks Lennon drew the penalty kick opportunity in the 57th minute, after receiving a superbly placed through ball down the right sideline from Alan Franco. Lennon sprinted past one defender, then was fouled just inside the box by Christian Makoun.

Charlotte wasn't complacent, turning up their offense a notch and earning a corner kick. Then, a pair of youngsters made history.

In the 66th minute, 20-year-old Ben Bender launched a left-footed corner kick into the box, and 19-year-old Adam Armour leaped over an Atlanta defender and headed a shot past veteran keeper Brad Guzan for Charlotte's historic first goal.

But Atlanta wasn't finished. Mulraney -- who entered the match in the 83rd minute -- scored the go-ahead goal after getting a cross-field pass from Marcelino Moreno.

Mulraney made his way into the right side of the box, then fired a left-footed shot that ricocheted off Makoun's back before landing in the back of the net.

The first half between the two clubs featured some missed chances and crucial saves. Guzan halted a pair of Charlotte headers from Karol Swiderski. He had four saves in all in the opening 45 minutes.

Similarly, Kahlina also had a stout first half for Charlotte, saving five shots.

Argentinian midfielder Thiago Almada made his MLS debut for Atlanta United in the 56th minute of the match, subbing on for Tyler Wolff. Almada, 20, joined Atlanta on a transfer in February worth a reported league-record $16 million. Almada had played for the Five Stripes a bit in the preseason, but had been away from the team while visa issues were being sorted out.