MLS: Second-half goal carries Atlanta United past Orlando City


Thiago Almada scored in the 72nd minute to lift visiting Atlanta United to a 1-0 victory over Orlando City on Wednesday night.

Defender Andrew Gutman deftly returned Almada’s feed just above the top of the box, allowing Almada to neatly deke Orlando City’s Antonio Carlos to the ground and provide a proper finish.

The goal was Almada’s sixth of the season and second in as many matches. He had one goal and one assist in Atlanta’s 4-2 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday.

Gutman was credited with his second assist of the season and Raul Gudino made three saves for Atlanta United (10-12-9, 39 points), who won consecutive MLS matches for the first time in 2022. The Five Stripes also improved to 2-9-5 on the road this season.

Orlando City SC (12-12-6, 42 points) pressed for the equalizer, but to no avail. Tesho Akindele’s header off a through ball from Mauricio Pereyra sailed wide of the net in the 89th minute.

Pedro Gallese finished with three saves for Orlando City, who have dropped two in a row following a four-match winning streak. They reside three points behind fourth-place New York City FC (13-11-7, 46 points) in the Eastern Conference. The Lions dropped a 5-1 decision to the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.

Both teams struggled to find any semblance of offensive consistency after the match began following a 47-minute weather-related delay.

Atlanta United nearly opened the scoring during first-half stoppage time. Dom Dwyer’s through ball found a streaking Gutman, who was denied by Gallese from point-blank range.

Atlanta’s Alan Franco sustained an apparent injury to his left arm midway through the first half, but he remained in the match.

Atlanta United’s star striker, Josef Martinez, entered the match as a substitute in the 56th minute after serving a one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team.

–Field Level Media

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