Southeast rivals Atlanta United and Orlando City SC battled to a 0-0 draw Wednesday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, with neither team able to turn any of their combined 24 shots into a goal. The result allowed Orlando to push their unbeaten streak to 10 matches and counting.
Orlando nearly did enough to find a breakthrough, but woodwork twice got in the way. Robinho hit the post in the 30th minute with a cutback effort, then Nani hit the crossbar in the 78th minute on a deflected shot.
The Lions also built momentum in the 11th minute, only for Atlanta’s Brad Guzan to produce a double-save. The US men’s national team goalkeeper first robbed Daryl Dike of a diving header, then Guzan recovered to thwart Robinho’s follow-up volley.
Atlanta had chances of their own, and Orlando goalkeeper Brian Rowe, filling in for regular starter Pedro Gallese, answered the call each time. He sprawled to his right in the 18th minute to deny a Miles Robinson header, and also kicked away an Anton Walkes effort in the 71st minute after a recirculated corner kick.
Orlando midfielder Junior Urso thought he had a late game-winner, but Guzan produced a point-blank stop in the 86th minute. He moved his feet quickly to deny the Brazilian after Nani fizzed a low cross across the 18-yard box.
- THE BIG PICTURE: With a rotated squad, injury concerns and international duty, Orlando pushed their unbeaten streak to 10 games. Nani and Chris Mueller started on the bench, and Brian Rowe filled in admirably for Pedro Gallese (Peru call-up) at goalkeeper. But there’s also the season series lens, with Orlando holding a 1W-0L-2D advantage in 2020. It’s not been dominant from Oscar Pareja’s side, but this rivalry certainly isn’t one-sided in Atlanta’s favor like years past.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It was a night of near-misses for Orlando, and few were more painstaking than Nani’s deflected effort in the 78th minute. The ball hung in the air and would’ve surely deflected in if it were an inch or two lower.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Brad Guzan has the post to thank for a couple of Orlando shots, but he also produced six saves. Few were bigger than one in the 86th minute, when he robbed Junior Urso of a potential smash-and-grab effort.