ORLANDO, FL – Orlando City SC (9-3-8, 35 points) easily handled struggling Atlanta United FC (5-12-4, 19 points) with a 4-1 trashing on Wednesday night at Exploria Stadium in Orlando.
After falling to Miami over the weekend, thus ending their 12 game unbeaten streak, the Lions came out with a solid footing and good energy against the Five Stripers, however, it took a little while to find the back of the net.
Orlando had contributions from Daryl Dike and Chris Mueller in the first half, and Tesho Akindele and new comer Matheus Aiás in the closing half.
Dike opened the scoring in the match in the 29th minute on an Orlando attack in the left side. Ruan pushed the ball up from midfield and found an opening to get the ball over to Dike, who shot the ball in past Brad Guzan for the score in the 29th minute.
Just before the end of the first half, Orlando had a free kick. Both Nani and Chris Mueller stood near the ball. Chis Mueller stepped up and blasted the ball past a diviner’s Guzan to take the Lions into the halftime locker room with a 2-0 lead.
Orlando City is notorious for it’s slow second half starts, and this game was not different. It took them time to get the energy flowing, but in the 60th minute, Daryl Dike made trouble for Atlanta by finding Tesho Akindele in the box for Orlando’s third score.
Atlanta prevented a clean sheet with a score by Eric Torres off of a Moreno corner kick which Torres headed in in the 87th minute.
Late in the match, Orlando brought in substitutions, including Matheus Aiás who came in for Daryl Dike in the 79th minute.
Orlando put the cap on the scoring in the 92nd minute with a free kick by Sebas Mendez that deflected off of Aiás as he rushed into the box for the goal. Guzan dove towards the initial kick angle, but could only touch the deflection with his hand.
The Atlanta loss all but eliminates their 2020 playoff hopes. The injury to Josef Martinez proved to be a significant blow this season for the Five Stripers. Orlando’s swarming attacks were just too much for them.
Orlando next travels to face the Montreal Impact in New Jersey of all places on Saturday November 1st.
Atlanta faces FC Cincinnati on the same day.