Pereyra Shines in Orlando City 2-1 Win over Rival Atlanta United

Pereyra Orlando Win Atlanta

Atlanta, GA – The Captain, Mauricio Pereyra helps Orlando City SC secure a huge 2-1 road win against rival, Atlanta United FC. They had gone unbeaten in four straight matches before losing a forgettable match last week vs Real Salt Lake. In this tight Eastern Conference playoff race, the road win was a great way to bounce back, and a confident booster going into the League’s Cup break.

Atlanta got on the scoreboard 1st after Orlando’s defense broke down after losing the ball in their own third. Miguel Berry recovered possession and chipped it to Machop Chol, who beat Gallese. However, it was cleared from the goalline by Antonio Carlos, but the rebound fell to Caleb Wiley, who finally put the ball in the back of the net. It was the 18-year-old’s fourth goal of the season.

Not to be outdone, Antonio Carlos must’ve been upset about his clearance being for naught, as he came right back and scored a goal of his own after only three minutes. Off a set piece, Pereyra places the ball perfectly in the middle of the penalty area. Carlos connected on a dime with a header for the equalizer.

Captain Pereyra was heavily involved in the attack. Shortly after the equalizer, Iván Angulo created a beautiful give-n-go opportunity with his captain on the left side of the eighteen. He had a great shot, but it sailed wide left. They entered the half with a 1-1 draw, so it was interesting to see which coach would make the adjustments.

Neither coach made any substitutions at the half, but coach Oscar Pareja and Orlando kept the aggression. Less than 15 minutes into the half, Pereyra received a pass in his own half and dribbled his defender to find space in the open field. He drew another ATL defender which left room for Duncan McGuire to make a run in front of United’s penalty area with no one but Brad Guzan in front of him. Pereyra sent a perfectly placed through-ball and McGuire did what he’s done all season, which is find the back of the net. The rookie is Orlando City’s leading scorer and a leading contender for Rookie of the Year.

Atlanta put on the pressure for the remainder of the match as Orlando switched to a more defensive strategy. The game got a bit chippy and six Orlando players received yellow cards, so subs had to be made to ensure they wouldn’t go down to 10 men or less. Atlanta’s best chance came in the final minutes of stoppage time. Thiago Almada, one of the best freekick takers in the MLS had an opportunity to equalize and put up a great shot, but El Pulpo came up with an even bigger save, securing the win for the Lions.

Next up, the Lions face off against Houston Dynamo FC at home in the Concacaf League’s Cup.

📸Credit: Felipe Martins

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