Atlanta United lost 4-1 in the fourth and final “regular” season matchup between Atlanta and Orlando City of the 2020 season at Exploria Stadium on Wednesday night. The lone Atlanta goal came from substitute Cubo Torres. The result means Atlanta remains outside the playoff positions in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta United started the match pretty positively. Marcelino Moreno won a free kick in the that Ezequiel Barco shot just wide in the opening minutes.
In the 8th minute, Laurence Wyke clamped up Orlando captain Luis Nani in Atlanta’s penalty area to prevent Orlando from capitalizing on a decent counter attacking move.
Ezequiel Barco got a shot off in the 12th minute, but it was too weak to put Orlando keeper Pedro Gallese under any pressure.
Barco and Moreno linked up
Laurence Wyke vacated his right back role and made a run deep into Orlando’s half 15 minutes into the first half, but nothing came out of the effort.
Jurgen Damm nearly curled a shot past Gallese in the 19th minute, but the winger couldn't adequately curl his foot around the ball to put Atlanta United ahead.
In the 22nd minute, Daryl Dike ran into space behind Atlanta’s retreating backline but failed to test Brad Guzan.
Dike, assisted by Ryan, made the most of another chance against Guzan just six minutes later to put the Lions up 1-0 in the 29th minute.
Literally like, two minutes later, Jr. Urso had the chance to smash one in on the volley on the penalty spot... He mossed though. Moving on.
Darryl Dike almost embarrassed Atlanta. Sheesh, that would have been bad.
Guzan made his first save of the night in the 37th minute
Damm, who has seemingly trademarked the cutback, came up just short of finishing off a wonderful solo effort in the 38th, but to no avail.
A few minutes later in the nation’s capital, this happened:
Then Chris Mueller beat Guzan with a stunning free kick right before halftime to make it 2-0 in Orlando’s favor.
Dike burned Wyke in the penalty area to set up Tesho Akindele for Orlando’s third goal of the night in the 60th minute.
Barco nearly gave Atlanta fans a reason to cheer, but the Argentine failed to connect with Brooks Lennon’s cross in the 63rd.
Guzan was forced into another save by Benji Michel in the the 66th minute, though the American was able to prevent further damage on this occasion.
Atlanta striker Cubo Torres stole Pedro Gallese’s clean sheet in the 87th minute.
Orlando got the last laugh, scoring a goal after a double deflection led to a goal for Sebas Méndez.
And that’s everything that happened.
Player of the Match
You. Things have been tough, but you’re gonna get through it. That is why you are the player of the match. Congratulations and enjoy your Wednesday night!
Also, Rob Usry for getting out a Stu Holden shoutout!
Tweet of the Match
It’s not Atlanta United related, but hopefully it’ll make you smile.
The goal of the month nominations for December 2006 will NEVER be topped pic.twitter.com/LyFWRrwEdN— Ryan (@bernardooooV3) March 23, 2020
A parting thought
- Atlanta wasn't eliminated from playoff contention, but tonight’s result doesn't make climbing that mountain any easier. In fact, due to DC United’s winning result over the Columbus Crew (at the time of writing), Atlanta’s chances of appearing in post-season play aren’t looking good, to say the least. DC has a game in hand and is one point behind Atlanta, so Atlanta will be hoping that DC drops points in their remaining matches.
Atlanta returns to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium to host FC Cincinnati in yet another must-win game on Sunday, Nov. 1. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.