The Five Stripes defeated their Floridian counterparts again on Sunday, paced by Pity Martinez's first MLS goal, the highlight of a strong ATLUTD first-half performance, to run their record to 5-0-2 all-time against the Lions.
But it was a close-run thing down the stretch. Orlando rallied gamely after the goal, conceding possession for long stretches but breaking with speed and purpose, only to have their finishing desert them at the moment of truth.
Brad Guzan came up big on a few occasions in goal for Atlanta, particularly on an impressive point-blank denial of Dom Dwyer, and he and the rest of the ATL back line were tested right into stoppage time by a Lions side missing Nani to injury.
- 14' – ATL – Pity Martinez | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Results matter above all in rivalry games, so ATL maintain bragging rights and run their winning streak to four. Yet their subpar second half suggests there's still plenty of work to do for Frank de Boer & Co. Meanwhile Orlando were one tidy finish away from a well-earned road point; their midweek trip to Seattle will pose another stiff test.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Pity's goal was gorgeous, but let's give some love to the goalkeepers this time. Guzan's sprawling save on Dwyer turned out to be a game-saver:
- MAN OF THE MATCH: In light of the moment above, this honor goes to Brad Guzan, who made four saves on the day.