KENNESAW, Ga. (April 16, 2023) – Orlando City B (3-1-0, 9 points) dropped its first decision of the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season after a 3-1 defeat to Atlanta United 2. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Lions, which served as their best start in MLS NEXT Pro history.
City forward Cristofer Acuña was the lone goal scorer for the Lions after he converted a penalty kick in second-half stoppage time. The goal counts as his second of the season with his first coming in the opening match of the year. His two goals along with one assist so far this season leads the team in goal contributions through the first four matches.
25’ Erik López (Penalty Kick) - ATL 1, ORL 0
Atlanta United 2 opened the scoring in the first half after earning a penalty kick following a foul made by City defender Thomas Williams in the box. Atlanta striker Erik López stepped up to the spot and converted the penalty with a shot down the middle of the goal.
45+2’ Nick Firmino (Erik López) - ATL 2, ORL 0
The home side extended their lead with first-half substitute Nick Firmino driving at the City backline, taking a shot and getting a massive deflection off Lions defender Nabi Kibunguchy, which found the back of the net.
56’ Nick Firmino - ATL 3, ORL 0
Firmino bagged his brace when he struck the ball from the top of the box and got a deflection off a City defender to help it cross over the line.
90+1’ Cristofer Acuña - ATL 3, ORL 1
The Lions got one back in second-half stoppage time after Moises Tablante was fouled inside the penalty box. Second-half substitute Cristofer Acuña sent the goalkeeper the wrong way and smashed the penalty into the back of the net for his second goal of the season.
- Cristofer Acuña recorded his second goal of the season converting a penalty kick. His two goals along with one assist so far this season leads the Club in goal contributions.
- Goalkeeper Dominic Pereira made his season debut for Orlando City B coming on as a first-half substitute.
- The match served as the inaugural meeting between the two sides after Atlanta United 2 joined MLS NEXT Pro in the offseason.