Gonzalo "Pity" Martinez scored twice, in the final five minutes of each half, as host Atlanta United FC gave caretaker manager Stephen Glass a victory in his first match in charge, defeating Major League Soccer expansion side Nashville SC 2-0 Saturday night absent fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan made five saves for the Five Stripes (3-3-0, nine points), who rebounded after failing to score a goal in three losses in the MLS is Back Tournament outside Orlando, Fla.
Manager Frank De Boer departed after the disappointing tournament result and Glass was promoted from Atlanta United 2 of the USL Championship.
Martinez's first goal, in the 40th minute, came after a long lead pass from Eric Remedi in his own half found Martinez streaking down the left wing. Martinez dribbled into the penalty area, weaved his way around a defender and toe-punched a shot from just outside the 6-yard box that made its way through Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis' legs.
The second goal, in the 87th minute, came on a blistering left-footed shot from the top left of the 18-yard penalty area. The ball found the top left corner of the net, leaving a leaping Willis no chance. Mohammed Adams and Erick Torres were credited with assists.
Willis made two saves, as Nashville outshot the hosts 15-6.
Nashville (1-3-1, four points), which was forced to withdraw from the MLS tourney after multiple positive tests for COVID-19, was playing its third match in 11 days. Nashville and FC Dallas, which also had to pull out of the tournament, played twice in a five-day span in Dallas, with Nashville earning its first-ever victory and a draw.
Saturday was a rematch of the season opener in which Atlanta spoiled Nashville's debut with a 2-1 decision. But it was a costly victory for the Five Stripes, as forward Josef Martinez, a former league MVP and Golden Boot Award winner, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament that necessitated season-ending surgery.