KENNESAW — A goal each by Pity Martinez and Josef Martinez lifted Atlanta United to a 2-0 victory over Saint Louis FC on Wednesday night, sending the victors into the U.S. Open Cup semifinals for the first time.
Atlanta will face rival Orlando City in the semis — the location will be determined with a blind draw Thursday at 2 p.m.
Atlanta United controlled play from the start, nearly opening the scoring twice in the opening 10 minutes. But Saint Louis FC defended in a deep, defensive block. Despite the Five Stripes’ relentless pressure, the front line couldn’t capitalize on its dominance and the teams went into the half knotted at 0-0.
It didn’t take long for Atlanta United to find the opener in the second half, and it came via a huge play from Emerson Hyndman, making his first start since joining the team two weeks ago after playing in Europe. A nice combination play between Justin Meram and Josef Martinez was broken up, but Hyndman didn’t give up on the play, pouncing on the defender to take possession and laying off to Pity Martinez, who delivered an unstoppable finish.
Atlanta United held the visitors off for the rest of the match, and doubled their lead right before the final. With Saint Louis stretched looking for the equalizer deep into stoppage time, Dion Pereira broke free down the right wing and danced past his opponent in the box only to be brought down for a penalty. Josef Martinez was ruthless from the spot, finishing off the 2-0 victory.