Josef Martinez scored in an MLS record 12th consecutive appearance, providing the only goal to continue Atlanta United's dominance over Orlando City with a 1-0 victory at Exploria Stadium on Friday night.
Martinez's 22nd goal of the season, and 17th in his 12-game stretch, improved Atlanta's record to 6W-0L-2D in league meetings all time between the two Southeastern rivals. Eastern Conference leading Atlanta also beat Orlando earlier this month in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals, their first competitive meeting outside league play.
Orlando outshot Atlanta 21-15 and missed numerous quality opportunities on a night when a win or a draw could've taken them at least temporarily above the playoff line in the East.
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- 60' - ATL - Josef Martinez | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Orlando's futility against their Georgian foes continues, and the latest loss could lead them to missing the 2019 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Their zero points from two matches this year is especially painful, since earning even one would see them two spots higher in the congested Eastern Conference Standings, in sixth place and above the playoff line. They're currently eighth, even on points with the Montreal Impact but trailing on the first tiebreak of total wins.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Martinez didn't have many chances on Friday, but as soon as Ezequiel Barco spotted him from inside his own half, you had the feeling something special could happen. The Venezuelan didn't disappoint, putting away the seventh league goal of his career against the Lions, his highest total against any single MLS club.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Ezequiel Barco. The Argentine has really come into his own since his latest return from injury, and was the creative force behind most of Atlanta's best moments in this one. It didn't get much mention on the broadcast, but his perfect, first-touch pass to Martinez to spring the game-deciding break really was world class.