There really is no way around it. Atlanta United and Orlando City SC are most definitely rivals. If last weeks’ matchup wasn’t an indicator of how intense this rivalry is, today’s reverse fixture definitely was.
The match was chippy from beginning to end, with the referee not leaning any calls in United’s favor.
Orlando City wasted no time getting to work, clearly remembering the last minute goal that saw them lose the week prior. Within the first 2′ of play, they had three chances at goal.
It was unbelievable how many fouls the referee let City get away with. Tempers finally ran over in the second half and the sides had to be separated.
Kaká’s first half goal looked like it was going to be the nail in the coffin, with Atlanta’s offense working decent but not at full capacity (Josef Martinez is still out with a foot contusion). Throughout the second half, United found plenty of chances but was unable to finish them. But like the first encounter between the two clubs, “Tito” happened.
Tito Villalba saved Atlanta’s life in stoppage time with a perfectly timed run to get Yamil Asad’s lead pass and slot their lone goal in the corner.
In the 93′ dreams were crushed. City fans had slammed the brakes online with chatter and in the stadium, they looked on in shock as local fans erupted in celebration. Tito nabbed the win last week and saved the draw this week.
Clearly, Tito Villalba is the Man of the Match. Without his consistency and the effort he’s put forth the past two weeks, Atlanta United would be 0-2 with Orlando City.
*Quotes to come