Atlanta United defeated Orlando City SC 1-0 Friday night in front of 25,527 fans at Orlando City Stadium. The heroics came from Tito Villalba in the 86th minute, as the Argentine winger took a throw-in from Greg Garza, took two dribbles, then sent a rocket from roughly 30 yards out into the top right corner to break the scoreless tie. Brad Guzan, making his club debut, made five saves to keep the clean sheet, helping Atlanta win its fourth-straight match.
Atlanta controlled possession for much of the first 20 minutes, but was unable to find enough space in the final third. Arguably its best chance came in the 23rd minute as Yamil Asad forced Joe Bendik to make a save, but the club settled for three shots on target in the first half. Meanwhile, Guzan made two monster saves to keep the game scoreless, including one off a free kick in the 39th minute that came off the head of Jonathan Spector.
After halftime, Guzan once again stopped a headed effort from Spector off of a free kick, this time in the 63rd minute. The teams traded minor opportunities from there on out until Villalba’s screamer won it.
Atlanta United (10-7-3, 33 points) returns to MLS action on Saturday, July 29 against Orlando City SC. Kickoff from Bobby Dodd Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be televised on FS1.
Shots: 14-8 Orlando
Shots on Target: 6-5 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 6-2 Orlando
Fouls committed: 15-8 Atlanta
Clearances: 24-12 Atlanta
Offside: 4-0 Atlanta
Possession: 55-45 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 81-75 Atlanta