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VAR drama, superb goals as Atlanta stun San Jose

Josef Martinez, Atlanta United

Josef Martinez, Atlanta United (Photo credit: Atlanta United / @ATLUTD)

First in the East against last in the West sugessted that Atlanta United’s trip to the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday would be a routine win for Gerardo Martino’s team.

Ah, yeah. Not at all.

San Jose raced into a 3-1 lead and then VAR took a goal away from them and gave a penalty kick to Atlanta in the space of a few seconds and that is when the game turned on its head for San Jose’s interim head coach Steve Ralston.

Courtesy of a header from Nick Lima and stunning goals from Danny Hoesen and Vako, plus a beauty from ATL’s Hector Villalba, San Jose led 3-1 in the 69th minute and then came the pivotal moment.

San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski finished clinically to make it 4-1, but VAR chalked the goal off as a handball in the penalty box from Magnus Eriksson was picked up at the other end in a previous attack to Wondo’s goal. Eriksson clearly moved his arm towards the ball and it came off his shoulder, blocking a cross towards Atlanta’s attackers.

That gave Josef Martinez the chance to score from the penalty spot, which he did, to make it 3-2, then Miguel Almiron made it 3-3 and Martinez struck in stoppage time (his 30th goal of the season) to make it 4-3.

Check out the highlights below as Atlanta kept ahead in the race to win the Supporters’ Shield and the Eastern Conference.

Follow @JPW_NBCSports