ATLANTA, Ga. (July 17, 2022) - Orlando City SC (8-7-6, 30 points) wrapped up Heineken Rivalry Week with a 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon against its neighbors to the north, Atlanta United FC (6-8-6, 24 points), at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Mauricio Pereyra scored the lone goal for the Lions in the match in the 10th minute, whipping in a free kick from just outside the area straight into the top left corner of the net for his first finish of the year. Atlanta answered later in the second half to even the match, also scoring on a set piece play in the 71st minute. The two continued to battle into stoppage time, with both sides hitting the woodwork, including the Lions’ Alexandre Pato off the right post to deny the visitors a game-winner.
City returns to action on Wednesday, July 20, set to host English Premier League side Arsenal FC in a friendly at Exploria Stadium. Kickoff for that match is set for 7:30 p.m. ET with tickets available here.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“A great point for us. [I’m] very proud of the work the players did on the field. Obviously there’s a lot of things that we would like to get better, but in this stage of the season, this amount of games, the point is very valuable for us against a rival that, especially in the second half, with the control they had and us not being able to keep the ball away from those attacking sides, I’m very proud of the players. I think we have a group that is connected and we know where we are going and we accept the point today and we’ll take it.”
10’ Mauricio Pereyra - ORL 1, ATL 0
The Lions got on the board thanks to a free kick from just outside the area from their captain, with Mauricio Pereyra curling his strike directly into the top-left corner of the net on the set piece.
71’ Juan José Purata (Thiago Almada) - ORL 1, ATL 1
The hosts leveled it up in the 71st minute of the match off of a set piece opportunity. Thiago Almada lobbed a ball over the Lions’ defensive line and in front of goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, where Juan José Purata headed the ball to Gallese’s right and into the net.
- Mauricio Pereyra scored his first goal of the year and his fifth in all competitions as a Lion.
- With the draw, the Lions are now unbeaten in seven of their last eight matches against The Five Stripes.
- Jake Mulraney faced off against his former club for the first time after being acquired by the Lions from Atlanta United on May 5 of this year, earning the start against his former side.
- Head Coach Oscar Pareja made four changes to his lineup from the midweek, with Mulraney, Rodrigo Schlegel, Mauricio Pereyra and Ercan Kara all getting the start.
Next Match: The Lions return to downtown Orlando on Wednesday, July 20, set to host English Premier League side Arsenal FC in a friendly match at Exploria Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.