Giakoumakis hits hat-trick as Atlanta crush New England

Greek striker Giorgos Giakoumakis hit a second half hat-trick as Atlanta United crushed the New England Revolution 4-1 in Major League Soccer on Saturday.

There was last-minute drama as stoppage time winners saw champions Columbus Crew beat the Chicago Fire 2-1 and Minnesota United pull of a 3-2 upset at Orlando.

Giakoumakis struck 17 goals in his first season for Atlanta after joining them from Scottish club Celtic and he displayed his sharpness in front of goal again to the delight of a 67,000 crowd at the Mercedes Benz Stadium.

Argentine Thiago Almada set Atlanta on their way with a penalty on the stroke of half-time and then Giakoumakis doubled the lead, also from the sport in the 55th minute.

The third came when Brooks Lennon found space for a cross from the right which Giakoumakis met with a thundering header.

The Greece international completed his hat-trick in spectacular fashion with a brilliant finish with the outside of his left boot from a tight angle.

Wilfried Nancy’s Columbus found it hard to break down a determined Chicago and went close to falling behind when the Fire’s Belgian striker Hugo Cuypers struck the post in the 66th minute.

But within two minutes, the Crew had the lead via a fine solo goal from Jacen Russell-Rowe, who broke from midfield and beat Chris Brady with a pinpoint shot from outside the box.

Fabian Herbers levelled for Chicago, with an effort that was initially ruled out for offside but allowed after a VAR review but the Crew were able to steal it at the end.

Diego Rossi’s shot from a Russell-Rowe cross was parried out by Brady only for Columbus full-back Mohammed Farsi to turn in the winner in the 10th minute of stoppage time.

Orlando had suffered a 5-0 mauling at Inter Miami last week but took just 16 seconds to take the lead against Minnesota through Duncan McGuire.

But Teemu Pukki levelled in the fourth minute after charging down an attempted clearance from Orlando keeper Pedro Gallese and the Finnish striker then made it 2-1 to Minnesota with a great shot on the turn from the edge of the box.

McGuire’s 83rd minute drive looked to have earned the home side a point only for South African striker Bongokuhle Hlongwane to grab the winner in the sixth minute of added time after being sent through by Tanitoluwa Oluwaseyi.

– Wonderful winner –

Brazilian Evander scored a wonderful stoppage-time winner as the Portland Timbers continued their positive MLS start under new coach Phil Neville with a 2-1 win at New York City.

Portland had trailed after Santiago Rodriguez fired the home side ahead at Yankee Stadium in the 10th minute, the Uruguayan drilling in off the inside of the post.

Portland had struggled in the opening half but came out brightly after the interval, although it was not until the 85th minute that they got on level terms.

Juan Mosquera got to the byline and pulled the ball back into the path of Brazilian Antony, who coolly side-footed home.

Then in the seventh of eight minutes of stoppage time, Evander picked the ball up on the left and curled the ball brilliantly into the far top corner.

The defeat means NYCFC remain without a point after their opening three games of the campaign.

Toronto’s decision to appoint former Canada national team boss John Herdman after their dreadful campaign last season raised some eyebrows given the English coach’s lack of experience at club level.

But Herdman is certainly getting the best out of his new team, who continued their unbeaten run with a second victory of the campaign, a 1-0 win at home to Dean Smith’s Charlotte.

Italian Lorenzo Insigne, the former Napoli striker, decided the contest with a stunning long-range strike in the 80th minute.

Philadelphia Union’s home game against the Seattle Sounders was abandoned after six minutes due to a waterlogged pitch.

Lionel Messi and Inter Miami are in action on Sunday when they host Montreal. -BSS

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