Orlando City snapped Atlanta United’s five-game unbeaten home streak by overtaking them in the standings before the month-long break from the regular season.
The Lions defeated the Five Stripes 2-1 on Saturday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
Atlanta went into the weekend with a 7-1-3 home record, trailing only Charlotte (6-9-8, 26 points) on May 13, 3-1. Atlanta have only lost one in eight home games against Orlando 3-1 in August 2020 since their founding in 2017.
Meanwhile, Orlando was looking for redemption on the road after a brutal 4-0 loss to Real Salt Lake (10-7-7, 37 points) last Saturday at America First Field in Sandy, Utah.
Orlando City (10-6-7, 37 points) is now fifth in the East, while Atlanta United (9-6-9, 35 points) has dropped to seventh.
The rivalry in the south was the Lions’ last game before the MLS All-Star Game and the League Cup game.
In the 22nd minute, Five Stripes took the lead. Striker Machop Chol fired a right-footed shot from outside the area, but Lions centre-back Antonio Carlos cleared the ball from the goal line. Caleb Wylie, 18, buried the rebound to earn his fourth goal of the season and the fifth of his young career.
Antonio Carlos looked to retaliate quickly, scoring a header from captain Mauricio Pereira’s free kick in the 25th minute to equalize.
The first half ended with the score 1:1. Atlanta had the majority of possession, 52.5%, while Orlando led offense with seven shots to Atlanta’s five.
Pereira’s pass to Duncan McGuire gave the Lions the lead in the 59th minute. McGuire swept past the baseline and pushed the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. The rookie now leads the team in goals (8).
Orlando has a 4-8-7 series record (2-5-3 home, 2-3-4 away) against Atlanta.
The Lions, who have yet to lose consecutive regular season games, return home to face the Houston Dynamos (8-10-5, 29 points) in the League Cup on Friday at Exploria Stadium.