Josef Martinez scored a brace and Atlanta United overcame a sluggish first-leg loss to Herediano by blitzing the Costa Rican side in the second leg to move on to the CCL quarterfinals.
Atlanta United came into the second leg of its Concacaf Champions League against Herediano on Thursday needing two goals at Fifth Third Bank Stadium to overcome their 3-1 deficit from the previous leg in Costa Rica, and Atlanta wasted no time getting on the scoresheet.
Josef Martinez scored 48 seconds into the match and bagged his second in the 63rd minute to help Atlanta secure a 4-0 home win against Herediano and reach the CCL quarterfinals on a 5-3 aggregate.
The combination of Brek Shea and Martinez put Herediano on notice early, as a Herediano defender failed to properly clear Shea's cross in the very first minute of the game, allowing Martinez to pounce on the opportunity and give some life to Atlanta's attack. And United didn't let up for the rest of the night.
It took less than 10 minutes for Atlanta to score its second, as Ezequiel Barco found a hole in the Herediano defense and played in Julian Gressel, who dutifully tucked the ball away to bring Atlanta level on aggregate goals and ahead on away goals.
Not content to simply try and keep the Costa Rican side off the score sheet, Atlanta kept the pressure on and was rewarded once again as Shea received a perfectly placed through ball in the box and passed it to Martinez, who had plenty of time and space to slot home for his team's third goal.
Leandro Gonzalez Pirez officially dashed any far-fetched chance of a Herediano comeback with his headed goal in the 83rd minute.
Atlanta United will play Liga MX's Monterrey in the CCL quarterfinals, with the first leg taking place on March 6.