Orlando City lose ground in MLS play off chase with home defeat to Atlanta United

Orlando City pounded hard on the front door of Atlanta United’s defence but couldn’t find a way to unlock it as they were defeated 1-0 at Exploria Stadium on Friday night.

The Lions had 22 shots on goal but drew blanks and could only wish for a striker in the form of Atlanta’s Josef Martínez. The 26 year old Venezuelan scored the decider for an MLS-record 12th straight game in the 6oth minute to give the Five Stripes a sixth straight victory.

Martínez neatly finished a give-and-go with a one-touch curling shot from the corner of the 18-yard box in to give City keeper Brian Rowe no chance. It was Martínez’s 22nd goal of the season and 17th in a 12-game stretch.

Atlanta has never lost to Orlando and has now won five straight games against the Lions.

After the game Orlando Head Coach James O’Connor said: “Obviously very disappointed. I think when you look at the game overall, I think we’ve had enough chances to win, in two or three games. I think unfortunately for us tonight, we’ve played very well, we’ve had exceptional chance creation, we just weren’t able to take our chances which is pretty hard to swallow. Very painful evening for us.”

The Lions head back out on the road, traveling to the West coast to take on the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, August 31. Kickoff for the match is set for 10:30 p.m. ET at Avaya Stadium.

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