Daryl Dike scored right before the half-hour mark, and assisted on a second with 30 minutes to go, as Orlando City SC defeated Atlanta United 4-1 at Exploria Stadium as they ended a four-match winless streak and pushed their rivals even lower below the playoff line.
Orlando shook off a bit of a slow start as it opened the scoring in the 29th, as Daryl Dike found a soft spot in Atlanta's backline and fired one past Brad Guzan to make it 1-0. Right before the halftime break, the lead doubled as Chris Mueller lasered home a free kick from outside the area to give Orlando breathing room over their rival. With a half-hour remaining, though, Dike struck one more, picking out Tesho Akindele with a perfect pass that was poked home to up the margin to 3-0.
Atlanta, who did not practice on Tuesday due to a positive COVID-19 case in its ranks, failed to seriously threaten the Lions outside of a 3rd minute Ezequiel Barco free kick that was turned aside by Pedro Gallese. Cubo Torres did open his account with a late consolation tally to deny Orlando a clean sheet. But Orlando was in the clear on this night, scoring on a free kick in second-half stoppage time that deflected off a pair of players and into the net to cap the scoring.
- ORL—29'—Daryl Dike | WATCH
- ORL—45'+2—Chris Mueller | WATCH
- ORL—60'—Tesho Akindele | WATCH
- ATL—87'—Erick Torres | WATCH
- ORL—90'+2—Matheus Aias | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Lions were spinning their wheels early on, but eventually their regular contributors helped them to their first win since October 3, the same night where midfielder Mauricio Pereyra was lost to a hamstring injury. For Atlanta, desperate for a rare road result, their playoff hopes have all but evaporated, the potential final nail in the coffin driven in by a team that it had dominated up until this year.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Mueller entered the night having gone back-to-back matches without a goal, but Orlando’s leading scorer found himself back on the scoresheet with a classy free kick that lifted over Atlanta's wall and sailed into the net past a sprawling Guzan.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Dike's terrific rookie season continued with a goal and an assist tonight, and he gets the honor as he's now up to 6 goals and 4 assists in 2020.