The attack looked impressive but the defense was lacking as Atlanta United fell late to Orlando City SC 3-2 at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Fl. Josef Martinez scored an impressive goal, followed by a long-distance curler from Marcelino Moreno, but Orlando outmaneuvered them on the counterattack and set pieces.
Josef Martinez opened the scoring with a long range one-timed shot just outside the box. Brooks Lennon sent a low cross from the flank and Martinez sent it home with his first touch. The five stripes scored in less than two minutes.
Orlando would have to wait until the dying embers of the first half before they evened the scoreline. Atlanta has been known to defend poorly on set pieces and this time was no different. Nani’s corner kick found Kyle Smith in the box who was able to head it home past Alec Kann.
We need to find a way to win. We’re out of excuses.”Alec Kann, Atlanta United goalkeeper
In the 66′ minute, Marcelino Moreno took the lead back with a long range effort that swerved past the keeper from just outside the 18. He celebrated by having the team follow him to the sideline to hug coach Rob Valentino.
Orlando City never quit and scored two unanswered goals in the closing minutes. Goals from Silvester van der Water and Nani sealed the home victory for Orlando. All three of Orlando’s goals were from headers.
“It’s frustrating,” said Alec Kann in the post-game press conference when asked what the team was missing. “Tonight, I could tell, just that little bit of difference. You could see it. Orlando wanted it just that much more.”
“We have to defend better,” said Ronald Hernández. “We have to do better on marking and set pieces and that starts with me.
Brooks Lennon left the match with an apparent leg injury. The club had no follow up information after the match.
Atlanta United will return home to train and then hit the road once again to face CF Montréal on Wednesday night.
Photo: Courtesy of ATL UTD