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Atlanta United draws with Orlando City, stays above the playoff line

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Atlanta United doesn’t lose for the second match in a row

MLS: Orlando City SC at Atlanta United FC Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United played to a 0-0 draw with rivals Orlando City on Wednesday night in what could (fairly) be described as a difficult watch. Atlanta is now in the 8th position in the Eastern Conference standings, two spots above the last playoff spot.

Lineup

Highlights

Brad Guzan made an amazing double (triple if you count the kick?) save 11 minutes into the first half.

A certain amount of time later, Miles Robinson towered over an Orlando defender to head corner kick cross on frame, but Orlando keeper Brian Rowe parried it away.

Around the 25th minute, Atlanta United created a chance after a counterattack, facilitated by John Gallagher and Adam Jahn, but Brooks Lennon’s shot was easily saved by Rowe.

Orlando’s Robinho nearly scored his team’s first goal of the match in the 29th minute, but his effort ricocheted off Guzan’s left post.

The last moments of the first half were some of the most compelling. Lennon played a beautiful, deep cross to Adam Jahn who was subsequently brought down in the box by Rowe. After a VAR check, the referee crew decided to not award Atlanta a penalty kick. Moments later, the cameras were pointed towards angry Atlanta United interim manager Stephen Glass and Orlando manger Oscar Pareja. The two mangers momentarily beefed before heading to their respective locker rooms.

In the 54th minute, we almost witnessed one of the funniest own goals of all time.

Robinson put his body on the line to deflect an Orlando shot off target in the 57th minute.

Anton Walkes got a shot away in the Orlando penalty area, but Brian Rowe diffused the situation with a solid leg save in the 70th minute.

Luis Nani put Atlanta under a great deal of pressure in the the 77th minute after his shot deflected over Guzan and off the crossbar.

Guzan made a point preserving save, the most important of the match, in the last five minutes.

And then he made another save, this time diving to the his right side to stop the ball from nestling in the top right corner.

Some Thoughts...

  • Atlanta United didn't necessarily play well. Orlando didn’t necessarily play well. But... it’s a point? It’s a clean sheet? I know it’s rough out here, but I’m trying to look at the positive side. Hopefully Saturday’s match will make for a better viewing experience. There isn’t much to take from this match so... yeah.
  • Atlanta United has been anything but upfront with Barco’s status. Tonight’s match was the fifth consecutive match without the Designated Player, leaving media and fans wondering what is goin got behind the scenes.

Man of the Match

In my opinion, it has to be Brad Guzan for his six saves. Without him, Atlanta wouldn’t have gotten anything out of this match.

You could also argue for George Bello, who created a looooot of chances.

Just kidding.

Tweet of the Match

What’s Next?

NYRB. Saturday at 6.