Atlanta tops DC United 3-1 in front of record crowd

3/12/2018 12:23:08 AM EST

Josef Martinez, Miguel Almiron and Hector Villalba each scored goals, leading Atlanta United FC to a 3-1 win over visiting DC United on Sunday in front of a record crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Almiron and Martinez were breakout stars last year for Atlanta, which reached the playoffs in the franchise's debut season. The duo was back at it again Sunday, with help from Villalba.

Darren Mattocks, a new acquisition, recorded DC United's lone goal, taking advantage of some lax Atlanta defense to cut the deficit to 3-1 in the 86th minute.

After being blanked at Houston 4-0 last week, the Five Stripes scored their first goal of the season 24 minutes in against DC United. Darlington Nagbe, one of Atlanta's prized off-season acquisitions, ignited the run by finding Villalba headed down the right sideline. Villalba got deep inside DC United's box and sent a perfectly timed, low cross to Martinez for an easy goal.

Atlanta controlled the first half, allowing only DC United only one shot while enjoying a 59.2 percent advantage in possession.

DC United found its rhythm in the second half and managed three early shots, before Almiron and Villalba slammed the door.

Almiron made it 2-0 in the 73rd minute, burying a left-footer from the top of the box off of a pinpoint pass from Julian Gressel.

Villalba delivered the clincher two minutes later, scoring off an assist from Almiron.

DC United was coming off a 1-1 draw at Orlando City. Midfielder Yamil Asad, who came over from Atlanta in the offseason, had DC United's goal against Orlando City, but was unable to make an impact against his former team.

The announced attendance of 72,035 was the largest ever for a single MLS match. It is the third time Atlanta has set the MLS single-match attendance record.

Atlanta hosts the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday. DC United will host Houston on Saturday.

--Field Level Media