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Orlando City SC 1, Atlanta United 2 | 2018 MLS Match Recap

Atlanta United kept hold of Major League Soccer's Southern bragging rights on Sunday, strutting into Orlando City Stadium and defeating Orlando City SC 2-1 in a hectic clash packed with end-to-end action, fiery emotions and a late rainstorm. 

The visitors were a freight train in the first half, imposing their high-tempo style on proceedings in carving out a 2-0 lead over the game's first 45 minutes. Josef Martinez netted from the penalty spot before Ezequiel Barco bagged his second MLS goal in emphatic fashion, leaving the Lions gasping for air. 

Orlando responded after the break, clawing their way back into contention as Oriol Rosell came off the bench to impose some order and Justin Meram scored his first goal in purple. But it was too little, too late, as the Five Stripes ended the Lions' six-game winning streak.

Goals

  • 10' – ATL – Josef Martinez (PK) | WATCH
  • 31' – ATL – Ezequiel Barco | WATCH
  • 57' – ORL – Justin Meram | WATCH

Three Things 

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Atlanta returned to winning ways after the midweek loss to Sporting KC and with their fourth road win of 2018, have already matched their total from last season. Meanwhile, Orlando's recent resurgence got a firm reality check, with questions to answer in the coming days.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Barco's finish provided the cushion that ATLUTD's first-half dominance deserved, and proved too deep of a hole for the Lions to clamber out of.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Miguel Almiron deserves consideration, but we'll give Jeff Larentowicz the nod, as the veteran No. 6 patrolled the base of midfield calmly enough for his teammates to rampage forward with gusto.

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