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Martinez scores pair, Atlanta blanks Fire 4-0

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    Martinez scores pair, Atlanta blanks Fire 4-0

Photo: Curtis Compton, AP

Atlanta United midfielder Julian Gressel, right, scores a goal past Chicago Fire defender Brandon Vincent during the first half of an MLS soccer game Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
Atlanta United midfielder Julian Gressel, right, scores a goal past Chicago Fire defender Brandon Vincent during the first half of an MLS soccer game Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Atlanta. (Curtis

Photo: Curtis Compton, AP

Martinez scores pair, Atlanta blanks Fire 4-0

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ATLANTA (AP) — Josef Martínez scored twice in the second half, pushing his league-leading total to five, and expansion Atlanta United won its second straight, defeating the Chicago Fire 4-0 on Saturday.

Chicago (1-1-1) dug an early hole, conceding an own goal in the fourth minute and then having Johan Kappelhof sent off with a red card in the 11th minute.

The own goal — Julian Gressel’s cross from just out of the box on the right deflected off Brandon Vincent and went past keeper Jorge Bava— was enough for Alec Kann to post the first shutout in Atlanta (2-1-0) history.

Martínez, who had a hat trick in last week’s 6-1 win over fellow first-year team Minnesota, sandwich his goals around the first for Héctor Villalba.

Miguel Almirón set up Martínez in the 60th minute, Villalba scored unassisted seven minutes later and Martínez capped the rout in the 82nd minute, assisted by Yamil Asad.

Kann, who had two shutouts last season as a backup for Sporting Kansas City, had three saves.

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