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Atlanta United vs Alajuelense: Jürgen Damm, the key to qualification

The Mexican scored a goal at the end of the game

Atlanta United
Atlanta United

Jürgen Damm gave Atlanta United the pass to the Quarterfinals of the Concachampions in the series against Alajuelense by scoring the only goal of the second leg played in the United States, when the game was already living its last minutes of action. Damm only had to push the ball to the back of the nets after a great play by Esequiel Barco, who even took the goalkeeper out of the area for the Mexican to debut as a scorer in the team. 

The former Tigres player's goal served to complete the work and move on to the next round with a 2-0 aggregate and thus wait for the winner of the series between Philadelphia Union and Saprissa. The man from Veracruz didn't have the best of his games with the Atlanta United squad, but he was always participating in the plays that were going to attack, in a game where Alajuelense sold the defeat dearly.

The Tico team started with intensity on the grass of Fifth Third Bank Stadium with a couple of arrivals in the first half that scared the locals. In the 30th minute, Bernard Alfaro launched a powerful shot that swept through the entire area without any attacker reaching to finish. Only four minutes later a deep pass to Adrián Martínez was badly rejected outside the area by goalkeeper Rocco Ríos-Novo. Martínez himself picked up the ball but finished off very wide.

In the Costa Rican field, only the Argentine Esequiel Barco, author of the only goal of the first leg, appeared with some interned on the left. Losses due to travel restrictions At half-time, coach Heinze introduced Mexican winger Jürgen Damm to give more flavor to his attack and sentence the tie in regulation time. The entrance of the forward boosted the best moments of Atlanta, which in the 53rd minute had two clear occasions in a row.

Argentine striker Marcelino Moreno finished across from the left that goalkeeper Mauricio Vargas sent to corner with a great save. In the next corner, another Argentine, Santiago Sosa, headed the post. When it seemed that Atlanta had control of the game Heinze retired in the 66th minute to the Venezuelan Josef Martínez, who returned to the starting position after the serious injury that had him out last season.

But Alajuelense launched a last offensive to the rival area and was able to tie with a deep pass to Jurguens Montenegro that the forward failed to touch inside the area and was about to surprise Ríos. With the Costa Rican team focused on the Atlanta area, the Argentine Esequiel Barco led a counterattack until he stood in front of the Costa Rican goalkeeper and, after a control that went long, the ball reached Damm's feet, who riveted to an empty goal and sealed the classification from Atlanta.

Alajuelense presented several casualties due to coronavirus

Alajuelense, who is an undefeated leader in the local league, presented eleven circumstances due to the casualties of five players who played with the Costa Rican team on the FIFA date at the end of March. The Costa Rican squad said their players were not allowed to travel to the United States due to the restrictions that this country imposes on people who have been in Europe during the previous 15 days.

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