HIGHLIGHTS: Orlando City Falls At Home In First-Ever Matchup With Atlanta United 1-0
By Orlando City SC // July 22, 2017
Next Match: @ Atlanta United July 29
ABOVE VIDEO: A stunning long-distance goal from Tito Villalba secures all three points in Atlanta United’s first ever matchup with Orlando City.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA (Orlando City) – In the first ever meeting between the two clubs, Orlando City SC (8-8-5, 29 points) fell 1-0 to Atlanta United FC (10-7-3, 33 points) Friday at Orlando City Stadium. Héctor Villalba scored in the 86th minute.
“Obviously very disappointed with the result but this is one where I would say I’m very pleased with the performance. This is the tough job about being a professional soccer coach is that nobody remembers the performance except for the coaching staff and the players. When you lose, you lose,” Lions Head Coach Jason Kreis said.
“I think our locker room feels like we were a little bit hard done, meaning our performance warranted better than what we got. There’s one way to rectify that situation is to go [to Atlanta] and get those three points back.”
The Lions shook off a slow start with a strong finish to the first half. Shots from Carlos Rivas and a header from Jonathan Spector were saved by U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Brad Guzan in his Atlanta United debut. Giles Barnes’ header late in the first half skimmed the roof of the net.
Less than 24 hours after playing for Canada in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in Phoenix, Ariz., Cyle Larin entered the match in the 72nd minute. He was the first of three subs, with Richie Laryea coming on in the 89th minute and Luis Gil in the 90th.
Atlanta took the lead on Villalba’s blast from 27 yards out in the 86th minute. Joe Bendik had no chance on the frozen rope into the far corner.
It was the lone blemish on an otherwise solid defensive performance. The Lions remained compact and organized in their lines defensively and held the league’s highest-scoring team to just eight shots while blocking two of them. Bendik made five saves, including several late in the match.
— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) July 22, 2017
The match followed the Special Olympics Unified Sports closed-door friendly between Special Olympics Florida and Special Olympics Georgia. The teams, which were made up of Special Olympics athletes and Unified teammates (players without intellectual disabilities), played two 20-minute halves with seven a side. Orlando City and Special Olympics Florida also participated in a Special Olympics Unified match in Chicago in August 2016.
Orlando City will face Atlanta United again next Saturday, July 29, at 4:30 p.m. ET when the Lions visit Bobby Dodd Stadium. City then heads to Montreal and New York City before returning home to host Columbus on Saturday, Aug. 19.
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