ORLANDO, FL. – Orlando City SC hosted Atlanta United FC on Saturday night, just one week after getting their first ever win over Atlanta United. It was a tale of two halves, with Benji Michel and Adam Jahn scoring the goals.
Benji Michel and Adam Jahn Score in 1-1 Draw Between Orlando and Atlanta
Orlando came into this game with Oscar Pareja again trusting the you attachers. Benji Michel and the electric Daryl Dike started up top. Nani again started on the bench with a knock.
Pity Martinez was unavailable with his departure from the club imminent. Cubo Torres started up top with Ezequiel Barco starting at left midfield. Atlanta were in a back four.
The first half was all Lions. They played with lots of energy, creating chances for the forwards and Chris Mueller. Atlanta struggled to keep up with them and lived dangerously, as they had troubling passing through the high press.
Just before halftime, Orlando deservedly took the lead. Off a corner, Dike collected the ball in the box and shot towards goal. The ball deflected off Benji Michel, who was held onside, and past Brad Guzan to make it 1-0. Michel’s touch on the ball was reactionary and perhaps fortuitous.
Atlanta responded in the second half with more possession up field and shot attempts. Their best chance came early in the second half. Pedro Gallese was caught flatfooted on a shot and made the save with his left arm, deflecting it into the air. Later in the half, Nani came off the bench and hit the near left post on a direct free kick.
Adam Jahn changed the game in stoppage time with a thumping header in the air to score. Jake Mulraney provided the service and Atlanta held on as the match ended 1-1.
— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) September 6, 2020
Fun, good, and finishing: OCSC has now established a style of play under Pareja. It’s fun. It’s successful. They’re playing well, at times dominating opponents, and getting results. The team is still really young up front and at times they haven’t finished their chances.
Nani still not starting: Orlando’s run has been especially impressive given that Nani hasn’t been starting recently due to an injury. He’s still their talisman and match winner. They will need him healthy down the stretch to achieve their potential.
Atlanta has issues at both ends: Atlanta United continue to struggle. They were clearly a lesser team without Joseph Martinez. With Pity on his way out, it’s still unclear whether this team can do more than survive this season barely.