ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Orlando City SC fiercely defeated Atlanta United FC 4-1 at Exploria Stadium Wednesday. The Lions returned home with a chip on their shoulder after Inter Miami CF snapped their loss-less streak in South Florida last Saturday, and the urgency was palpable. Four Lions found the back of the net in Wednesday’s game: Daryl Dike, Chris Mueller, Tesho Akindele, and newcomer Matheus Aias.
Daryl Dike nailed the night’s first goal straight to the back of the net off of Ruan’s assist in the 29th minute.
In the 34th, Dike made a tenacious run with a right cross through two Atlanta players to Tesho Akindele, who kicked it into the net, only for that effort to be nullified by a foul call against Dike.
Atlanta United’s Fernando Meza earned himself a yellow card in the 45th minute tackling Dike for the ball.
Chris Mueller closed out the first half with an explosive goal in the two minutes of stoppage time. He stepped up outside of the area for a free kick and curled the ball into the left side, netting to extend his team lead with his ninth goal of the year.
In the second half, Daryl Dike got free down the right side and found Tesho Akindele in the box, who hit it for the finish. This was Akindele’s third goal of the campaign in his first start since September 27 at FC Dallas.
Orlando’s fourth goal came at the very end of the game–in the second minute of stoppage time. Matheus Aias scored on his Lions debut after a free kick from Sebastián Méndez deflected off of him into the back of the net.
With the win, Head Coach Oscar Pareja ties former New England Revolution boss Steve Nicol for ninth in MLS history in All-Time Coaching Wins with his 112th career victory, now one win shy of tying former D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen for eighth at 113.
Pareja expressed his pride in the team postgame. “It’s certainly a game that means a lot for our franchise. First off, beating Atlanta, but secondly to see the boys performing so well as a group. We have had obviously two weeks where we have conceded a goal in the last minute and given away points. Tonight, it was an urgency for us to win those three points and they were big.”
The Lions head back on the road for their final season game to take on the Montreal Impact on Sunday, Nov. 1 at Red Bull Arena. Kickoff for that match is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org