Miguel Almiron scored a pair of penalties and video review played a major part in helping Atlanta United win their fourth straight game 5-0 over LAFC.
The result could have been very different as Atlanta’s Chris McCann was shown a straight red card for a tackle just 27 seconds into the game, but the decision was changed to merely a yellow card after a video review.
Allowed to continue with its full contingent of players, Atlanta took the lead in the 17th minute when Almiron sent a low cross through the six-yard box for Julian Gressel to slam into an open net.
Gressel was also involved in Atlanta’s second goal midway through the second half as he lofted a cross over the reach of LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller for Josef Martinez to head in at the back post.
The VAR system again came into play by awarding Atlanta an 88th-minute penalty from which Almiron made it 3-0. Referee Ted Unkel did not originally give the spot kick but changed his mind after viewing a replay and agreeing Almiron was fouled by Walker Zimmerman.
Almiron scored a second penalty in stoppage time after a free kick struck the arm of LAFC rookie Joao Moutinho, and the No. 1 draft pick was sent off with a second yellow.
After losing its first game of the season 4-0 at Houston, Atlanta has recovered to win all four of the next games and kept a clean sheet for the second straight week.
The video review led to seven minutes of stoppage time, and substitute Romario Williams was given space to fire in Atlanta’s fifth goal from the edge of the box with the final kick of the game.
Expansion club LAFC won its first two matches but dropped its second straight — after Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s debut heroics lifted the LA Galaxy last week.