20.08.2018 04:28 h

Atlanta's Martinez matches MLS single-season scoring record

Josef Martinez tied Major League Soccer's single-season scoring record Sunday when he hammered in his 27th goal of the season in Atlanta's 3-1 home victory over Columbus Crew.

Martinez equalled the record established by Roy Lassiter in 1996 and matched by Chris Wondolowski (2012), and Bradley Wright-Phillips (2016).

With eight regular-season matches remaining, the Venezuelan is on pace to race past the mark.

"I tied it, but what I really want is to break it," Martinez said. "Once I break it, then I'll be even more happy. When I get to 28, then I'll have something."

Martinez scored his milestone goal in the 31st minute, collecting a pass and making a run toward the goal, eluding one defender before firing a left-footed shot past Columbus keeper Zack Steffen from inside the area.

The goal, his 46th in 45 career regular-season MLS games, put Atlanta up 1-0.

Hector Villalba and Miguel Almiron also scored for Atlanta, who moved three points ahead of the New York Red Bulls atop the Eastern Conference and Supporters Shield Standings.

Gyasi Zardes scored the Crew's lone goal shortly after halftime, but Columbus saw their three-match winning streak end.

While Martinez downplayed equalling the record, Atlanta captain Michael Parkhurst was bubbling over with enthusiasm for his exploits.

"There's no denying it," Parkhurst said. "The track record speaks for itself. It's incredible, it really is. The fact that that record has stood for as long as it has -- he's crushing it in his first full season."

Elsewhere in the East, Wayne Rooney's DC United continued their playoff push, beating the New England Revolution 2-0 for their third home win in eight days.

Luciano Acosta, a week removed from a hat trick, scored the opener, firing home a cross from Paul Arriola.

DC had a string of scoring chances in the first half, then weathered a Revolution comeback bid early in the second that faded when New England's Scott Caldwell was sent off in the 73rd.

Zoltan Stieber, who replaced Arriola in the second half, sealed the win with a breakaway goal in the 89th minute.