Atlanta United 2 defeated Orlando City B 3-1 Sunday night at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. Nick Firmino scored two goals while Erik López scored his second goal of the season as the team picked up its first win of the year.
ATL UTD 2 controlled the match early on, consistently pressuring Orlando's goal with three shots on target in the first 15 minutes, including a López header off the crossbar in the 12th minute.
Atlanta eventually found the breakthrough when it was awarded a penalty in the 23rd minute. Luke Brennan dribbled into the box and had the ball tackled away as he fell to ground, but he kept the play alive while López rushed into the box. Thomas Williams brought the Paraguayan forward down and ATL UTD 2 was given a penalty. López stepped to the spot and fired a low shot down the center, deflecting off Orlando goalkeeper Javier Otero's boot and into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead in the 25th minute. Otero was injured on the play and was replaced by Dominic Pereira.
Jonantan Villal was also forced to exit the match early with an injury as Firmino came on in the first half and made an instant impact, scoring his second goal of the year two minutes into stoppage time. Firmino gathered the ball at midfield, cleverly spun away from a defender and drove the length of the field. The Brazilian took a shot with his left foot, which deflected off an Orlando defender and rolled into the goal to double the home side's lead just before the halftime whistle.
Firmino scored his second of the night in the 56th minute. López intercepted an Orlando throw-in just outside of the penalty area and ran towards goal, but had the ball poked away. Firmino trailed the play and took a shot first-time from distance which was slightly deflected but bounced into the bottom right corner.
Orlando was given a penalty kick in the 90th minute when Moises Tablante was fouled by Karim Tmimi in the box. Cristofer Acuña scored with a low shot to the left while Vicente Reyes guessed the other way.
Atlanta United 2 returns to action Saturday, April 22 when it hosts Chicago Fire II at Fifth Third Bank Stadium (7:30 p.m., MLSNEXTPro.com). Some ATL UTD 2 matches are available with an MLS Season Pass subscription, located on the Apple TV app while the remainder of matches are streamed live on MLSNEXTPro.com.
Shots: 9-8 Atlanta
Shots on target: 6-3 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 5-1 Orlando
Fouls Committed: 15-15
xG: 1.15 - 1.10 Atlanta
Possession: 51-49 Orlando
Passing accuracy: 84-82 Orlando
ATL - Erik López (penalty) 25'
ATL - Nick Firmino (López) 45+2'
ATL - Nick Firmino 56'
ORL - Cristian Medina 46' 🟨
ATL - Aiden McFadden 58' 🟨
ORL - Juninho 76' 🟨
- Nick Firmino scored two goals and leads the team with three on the season.
- It was Firmino's second brace with ATL UTD 2 (April 2, 2022, 2-1 win at Hartford Athletic)
- Erik López scored his second goal of the season.
- López also recorded his first assist of the season.
HIGHLIGHTS: ATL UTD 2 3-1 Orlando City B