(SL) – Hector Tito Villalba scored a vicious volley from 35 yards out and Atlanta got stellar goal keeping from Brad Guzan to give Atlanta United FC a 1-0 victory over Orlando City FC at Orlando City Stadium on Friday in Florida. The Five Stripes welcomed Guzan who had two spectacular saves late to preserve the win but it was Villalba who had a very pedestrian game until he scored the game winner in the 86th minute.
The match was an equal match for the most part although Atlanta dominated possession 55% to 45% but City did out shoot United 14 o 8 but it was Villalba’s shot that counted in the end. Villalba received the ball directly from a throw in and found enough space to turn dribble and fire his shot past Orlando keeper Joe Bendik for the 1-0 lead.
Orlando City did not have a natural geographical rival until United entered MLS this year. The pre-match trash talking seemed to cross the line at times in the build up to the first ever meeting of the clubs but no major incidents were reported.
Atlanta used the win to solidify their 4th place standing in the eastern conference playoff race with 33 points; 6 points behind first place Toronto FC. The rematch is Sunday 4:30pm at Bobby Dodd. The match at The Bob is a sellout for United, it’s 8th consecutive and the last match before moving into Mercedes Benz Stadium in September.