Orlando City squanders lead, succumbs to late draw against Atlanta United


Courtesy of Orlando City SC

Orlando City came painfully close to their first win over Atlanta United at home, but a stoppage-time equalizer from the Five Stripes prevented the celebration.

In a game that saw Orlando display a dominating performance and a first-half goal from Benji Michel, it was Adam Jahn‘s 90th-minute equalizer that secured Atlanta United a 1-1 draw Saturday night in front of 4,242 fans at Exploria Stadium.

“It was a good match despite conceding that goal in the last two, three minutes of the game, knowing how we were for the three points during the whole game is difficult,” said Orlando head coach Oscar Pareja post game.

Pareja also added: “It’s painful after you have the domination that we had in the first half, and the options that we had during the game but what once again, the game told us again that we have to have resolution to finish the game.”

Despite the draw, Orlando City (4-2-4, 16 points) extended its unbeaten run to four games.

Benji Michel opened the scoring for Orlando moments before halftime after slotting a ball from Daryl Dike past Brad Guzan off a corner kick to give the Lions the 1-0 lead at the break.

Orlando captain Nani was omitted from the Lions starting lineup for the third consecutive time on Saturday. According to Pareja, Nani has been suffering from an “inflammation in his groin” which has limited his participation with the team.

The Lions dominated the first half, creating eights scoring chances, including an opportunity in the 34th minute when Michel sent a center pass to Sebastian Mendez making a run towards goal before Guzan produced a kick save to deny Orlando taking the lead.

A give away from Kamal Miller in the 90th minute, however, resulted in Atlanta finding the 1-1 equalizer when Jake Mulraney whipped-in a cross into the box, finding Adam Jahn to head the ball past goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.

The Lions out-shot the Five Stripes 15-9.

Up next, Orlando City cap Phase One of the MLS restart, hosting Inter Miami at Exploria Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12.

Scoring Summary 

45+1′ – Benji Michel, assisted by Daryl Dike (ORL)

90+2′ – Adam Jahn, assisted Jake Mulraney and Anton Walkes (ATL)

Here’s how the Lions lined up 

Orlando City XI: Pedro Gallese; Kamal Miller, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, Ruan; Sebastian Mendez (Tesho Akindele, 72′), Uri Rosell; Chris Mueller (Kyle Smith, 83′), Mauricio Pereyra (c) (Nani, 72′), Benji Michel (Junior Urso, 72′); Daryl Dike (Andres Perea, 57′).

Bench: Brian Rowe, Alex De John, Rodrigo Schlegel, Robinho.

For more soccer news, follow the Soccer Journal on Twitter: @osjsoccer


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