Atlanta United somehow found itself with 3 points as Josef Martinez’s goal on the hour mark stood up for a 1-0 win against Orlando City at Exploria Stadium. It’s Atlanta’s sixth straight victory across all competitions, its fourth straight in league play, its third straight away win after dropping six in a row outside of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and puts them unbeaten across 9 games against Orlando.
It wasn’t the best night for the Five Stripes as their defending was suspect and their attack failed to consistently test Brian Rowe. Both teams looked as if they were slogging through - although Orlando held the better of the chances, especially in the first half. Heck, much of the entire match wasn’t really all that interesting.
In the 60th minute, though, Atlanta struck first. Of course, it had to be just one person.
Josef had a chance at a second just moments later on a perfect through ball from Pity Martinez but ended up striking the woodwork, while another attempt inside of 15 minutes remaining on a bad pass from Brian Rowe saw the Orlando keeper recover just in time.
Meanwhile, Orlando, who had 21 shots and put 4 on frame, scored zero goals. Not good for them, but good for Atlanta.
A recap thought
That wasn’t a fun match to watch whether you were a fan or a neutral. Whether it was the humidity, the pitch, or weather conditions, it just seemed like a slog. It certainly won’t qualify as the prettiest, most stylish win for the Five Stripes, but it’s an important one that ensures they stay atop the Eastern Conference table heading into another crucial game at Philly on Saturday. Oh, and it’s another road win.
DSS Man of the Match
Florentin Pogba. He wasn’t perfect by any means, but he worked through it in the second half and made some key stops (especially in the box) to help hold Orlando at bay.
Tweet of the Night
Key Stat of the Night
Atlanta United vs. Orlando City head to head: 7 wins, 0 losses, 2 draws
A shot at a second trophy. Atlanta United. vs. Minnesota United in the U.S. Open Cup Final, Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Next MLS match is Saturday at the Philadelphia Union.