By Rupa Trivedi


Atlanta United defeats the Earthquakes thanks to Almada's three late goals

In the first game of the Major League Soccer season for both clubs, Thiago Almada struck twice.

the final seconds of the second half to lift host Atlanta United to a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.

The 5-foot-7 winger from Argentina, who two months ago became the first active MLS player to win the FIFA World Cup with his country, fired from a distance and hit the underside of the crossbar.

Enough of a deflection off the ironwork allowed the ball to bounce across the goal line in the third minute of extra time

Atlanta, however, wasn't done yet. It worked hard to get the three points, and just before the final horn, it was awarded a free kick outside the penalty area.

Almada took the opportunity and shot it, deflecting it off Daniel's fingertips and into the top of the net for San Jose.

The exploits of Almada derailed Luchi Gonzalez's first game in charge of the Earthquakes.

It has been 20 calendar years since San Jose, which placed last in the Western Conference last year, triumphed in a season-opening away game.

The situation for the host team appeared dire, but Atlanta persisted in seeking an equalizer and was rewarded for keeping control of the ball.

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