Larentowicz converts a penalty kick for team’s first win in seven games

Playing with urgency and focus, Atlanta United defeated Dallas 1-0 on Wednesday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The deciding goal was scored by Jeff Larentowicz on a penalty kick after good work by Jon Gallagher, who started at striker.

It was the team’s (4-7-2) first win its past seven games and pulled it back above the playoff line. The team will play at Chicago on Sunday.

The individual mistakes on defense that have plagued this team most of this season weren’t as obvious and weren’t punished, as has been the case so many times this season. As a result, the team posted its third shutout.

The offense, playing without any Designated Players because Ezequiel Barco missed his second consecutive game, moved the ball crisply and created several good chances.

The team finally showed the urgency that interim manager Stephen Glass and fullback George Bello said was needed.

Atlanta United’s lineup consisted of Gallagher, midfielders Brooks Lennon, Jake Mulraney, Mattheus Rossetto, Emerson Hyndman and Larentowicz, fullbacks Franco Escobar and Bello, centerbacks Fernando Meza and Miles Robinson, and goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

Dallas, riding a three-game winning streak, also started without a Designated Player because of a suspension and a manager’s choices to bench Santiago Mosquera and Franco Jara.

Atlanta United started much better than in its previous two games in which it gave up goals in the first minute against Nashville and the second minute against Miami.

The team pressed aggressively in the opening minutes and created several turnovers.

Though Atlanta United didn’t put any shots on goal in the first 20 minutes, it created numerous chances, particularly from the wings from Mulraney, Lennon and Escobar.

Mulraney was the first, putting a hard shot on goal around the 23rd minute before hitting another left-footed blast that forced a save in the 29th minute.

Glass made two changes at halftime: Eric Remedi and Adam Jahn came in for Robinson and Rossetto.

Atlanta United had a plea for a handball against Dallas centerback Matt Hedges confirmed by referee Tim Ford after a video review. The handball came from a corner kick, which was the result of a shot by Gallagher being pushed over the bar by goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer.

Larentowicz converted the penalty kick to give his team a 1-0 lead in the 55th minute. It was his second goal this season and 42nd of his career. It was his first penalty kick goal since Sept 11, 2015 when he played for Chicago. He has scored 12 goals on penalty kicks in his career.

Dallas brought on Mosquera and Jara in the 68th minute to try to at least create an equalizer.

Glass countered with Manuel Castro coming in for Gallagher in the 72nd minute.

Dallas continued to press, forcing a save from Guzan in the 79th minute. Glass made another defensive substitution, putting in Laurence Wyke for Mulraney in the 81st minute.

Atlanta United upcoming game

Sunday at Chicago (2-7-3), 7:30 p.m., FSSE

Oct. 3 at D.C. United (2-5-5), 7 p.m., FSS

Oct. 7 vs. Orlando (6-2-4), 7 p.m., FSS

Oct. 10 vs. New York Red Bulls (4-6-2), 6 p.m., FSS

Oct. 14 at Miami (3-7-2), 8 p.m., FSS

Oct. 18 at Toronto (6-2-4) in Hartford, Conn., 7:30 p.m., FSS

Oct. 24 vs. D.C. United (2-5-5), 4 p.m., FSS

Oct. 28 at Orlando (6-2-4), 7:30 p.m., FS1

Nov. 1 vs. Cincinnati (3-6-3), 7 p.m., FSS

Nov. 8 at Columbus (8-1-3), 3:30 p.m., FSS

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