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Gutman golazo pushes Atlanta United past Seattle Sounders 2-1

Could such a crucial win represent a turning point in the season?

Atlanta United earned a 2-1 win against the Seattle Sounders on Saturday, ending with a beautiful Andrew Gutman match-winner at the death.

The win saw a very different Atlanta side step onto the field and play a different kind of soccer than the one they've been playing lately. The team was much more clinical in the box, defended with more urgency, and could adapt when it was clearly not winning the possession game.

The starting lineup saw the team return to a back four after losing center back George Campbell to an adductor injury. Aside from switching Campbell for Aiden McFadden at right wing-back, the lineup was precisely the same as the one that played against Chicago Fire last week.

The match kicked off in front of over 68,000 fans and saw both teams generating chances and looking for the opening goal. The Five Stripes struck first in the 23rd minute when Luiz Araújo put in a brilliant low cross to Ronaldo Cisneros in the box, who smashed it past Stephan Frei to make it 1-0. The goal marks Cisneros' seventh this season and makes him Atlanta's top scorer.

The Sounders wouldn't lie down, however, and fought back with several great crosses into the box that made goalkeeper Rocco Ríos Novo work hard to deny the equalizer. But the young keeper couldn't keep them all out, and Cristian Roldan tied the game after a bit of chaos in the box allowed him enough space to shoot. The score was 1-1 with 22 minutes to go.

Fast forward to stoppage time, and it looked like the teams would end up splitting the points until Andrew Gutman let one rip from outside the box and blasted the ball into the lower right corner to give Atlanta the win. The game ended with a final score of 2-1 to the Five Stripes.

The win could signal a change of trajectory for this season, as Atlanta is now just two points off of a playoff spot with a game in hand over many teams in contention for that spot. This match also marks the first time Atlanta has beaten Seattle in an MLS match. Perhaps a win over the current Concacaf Champions League winners can inject the morale boost this team needs to make a run into the playoffs.

Atlanta will have a chance at their first win streak this season if they can beat FC Cincinnati on the road on Saturday. The win would be crucial as Cincinnati is one of the teams still trying to solidify their place in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Kickoff is set for 7:38 PM.

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