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Atlanta United romps past short-handed Fire 4-0

Atlanta United midfielder Julian Gressel (right) scores past Fire defender Brandon Vincent on Saturday in Atlanta. | Curtis Compton/AP

ATLANTA — Josef Martinez scored a pair of second-half goals and Atlanta United turned in another dominating performance, beating the Fire 4-0 for its first home victory Saturday.

Before raucous crowd of 45,000, expansion United jumped ahead 4 minutes into the game off an own-goal by Chicago’s Brandon Vincent. Julian Russell’s attempted cross from the right side of the penalty area deflected off Vincent, right past the goalkeeper Jorge Bava.

Atlanta (2-1-0) poured in after halftime against a team that played a man down most of the game after Johan Kappelhof was given a red card in the 11th minute. Martinez made it 2-0 in the 60th minute off a deft flick from Miguel Almiron, and added his second goal in the 82nd, breaking free in the box and sliding in the shot from a tough angle.

Hector Villalba scored in the 67th on a booming left-footer after winding up with the ball right at the penalty spot off a deflected shot.