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Orlando City Lions head up to Georgia, looking for points to steal

ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando City brings home a win beating Atlanta 2-1, and Duncan McGuire continues to make his case as the leading Rookie of the Year honors candidate.

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While most of the MLS talk on Saturday was the official signing of Messi to Inter Miami, the Lions focused on taking down the Five Stripes.

Oscar Pareja went with the same lineup that gave up four goals last week against RSL but also scored four goals against Toronto FC the week before.

Atlanta would start the scoring Saturday night.

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In the 22-minute, Orlando gave the ball away in their half and Atlanta took advantage. Gallese stopped ATL’s Machop Chol’s shot on goal, but the ball squeezed past Gallese and towards the goal. City’s Antonio Carlos was able to slide in and prevent the ball from crossing the line but the ball landed in front of ATL’s Caleb Wiley, who was able to shoot from point-blank range to put Atlanta up 1-0.

Two minutes later, Orlando leveled the score after Captian Mauricio Pereyra sent the ball from a set piece inside the box to find the head of Antonio Carlos, who snapped the ball into the back of the net, all tied 1-1.

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In the second half, both teams appeared to try and wait on the counter and it would be Orlando City that takes the first advantage.

In the 60-minute, Pereyra found rookie Duncan McGuire running down the middle of the pitch. McGuire was able to body off the defender and send the ball over the outstretched leg of Atlanta’s goalkeeper, Brad Guzan, for the goal. The Lions went up 2-1, and McGuire now leads the team with eight goals on the season.

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Coach Oscar Pareja brought in the defense in the 75-minute in hopes of holding off any more opportunities by Atlanta.

Atlanta’s Thiago Almada had the last and best chance in the 99-minute to tie the match with a free-kick from the center of the field just outside the box.

Almada’s shot made it over the wall and towards the right of the goal but a diving save by Gallese pushed the ball safe of the goal for a corner.

Lions would win 2-1 and move into fifth in the Eastern Conference.

Orlando City returns home Friday, July 21, to start Leagues Cup play against the Houston Dynamo FC.

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