MLS
AtlantaATL
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FINAL
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OrlandoORL

Atlanta United 1, Orlando City SC 3 | 2020 MLS Match Recap

Orlando City SC have their first victory against Southeast rivals Atlanta United, relying on two first-half goals to land a 3-1 win Saturday afternoon at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Lions first got on the scoresheet in the 13th minute, when Junior Urso powerfully headed a Chris Mueller corner kick towards goal. Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan mishandled the effort, and the Brazilian midfielder established a 1-0 lead with his first MLS goal.

Orlando made it 2-0 via Mueller in the 35th minute, as he finished off a tic-tac-toe move that involved teammates Benji Michel and Daryl Dike. The end result, after some gap-filled Atlanta defense, was a tap-in finish for Mueller’s sixth goal of the season (career high).

Atlanta didn’t go down without a fight, however, as Jurgen Damm conjured up some magic on his debut. The Mexican winger shimmied free in the 18-yard box and served up a delightful cross that Brooks Lennon headed home to make it 2-1 in the 83rd minute.

But hopes of an Atlanta comeback were quickly squashed, when Urso forced a Pity Martinez turnover in the attacking third. After picking Pity’s pocket, Urso crossed centrally to Nani for the tap-in and 3-1 lead in the 86th minute. Nani started on the bench, as did right back Ruan, while Tesho Akindele and Mauricio Pereyra both weren't in the matchday squad for Orlando.

Goals

  • 13' – ORL – Junior Urso | WATCH
  • 35' – ORL – Chris Mueller | WATCH
  • 83' – ATL – Brooks Lennon | WATCH
  • 86' – ORL – Nani | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: The historic victory came in Orlando’s 10th match across all competitions against the Five Stripes, when they were previously winless in eight league attempts (0-6-2 in MLS before Saturday). It wasn’t all excitement for Orlando, though, as left back Joao Moutinho got stretchered off in the 78th minute after clearing a long ball out of play. From an Atlanta point of view, their unbeaten run against the Lions is now over. The rivalry flames are stoked yet again, and veteran coach Oscar Pareja got the best of interim manager Stephen Glass.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Nani’s goal in the 86th minute wasn’t a moment of individual brilliance or world-class skill. But it halted Atlanta’s late surge and established that Orlando would indeed beat their rival.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Junior Urso, hands down, had his best MLS game since arriving in Orlando from Brazilian side Corinthians. The 31-year-old had a goal and an assist, plus was everywhere in clogging up the midfield.

Next Up

  • ATL: Wednesday, Sept. 2 vs. Inter Miami (7:00 pm ET | FS1)
  • ORL: Wednesday, Sept. 2 at Nashville SC (8:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+, DAZN in Canada)
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