Atlanta United came into the U.S. Open Cup Semi-Final without their best player and goalscorer Josef Martinez as he was out with an abductor injury suffered in training the day before, well lets just keep it short and sweet, it didn’t matter because United’s dominance over Orlando continued Tuesday night with another solid performance at home away from home. Coming into the night, Atlanta advanced from the Quarterfinal round of the U.S. Open Cup by defeating Saint Louis 2-0 with goals by Pity and Josef Martinez in Kennesaw on July 10th which set them up with Semi-Final match in Orlando.
The match started out with early chances for Orlando to take the lead. Dom Dwyer thought he scored the opening goal in the 5th minute with a chip shot over GK Brad Guzan, but it was ruled offside and the score remained 0-0. Then in the 18th minute Nani received and sent a pass into the box for Dwyer to have another opportunity to score, but his shot went way over the bar, two good chances missed for Orlando. In the 37th minute United would find the opening goal that came from midfielder Eric Remedi when his first shot was saved by the goalkeeper, the ball went off to the side and Gressel was there to immediately pounce on it, send the ball back in the box towards the feet of Remedi and this time he finished the job with a right footed shot into the back of the net giving United the lead going into halftime.
Early in the Second Half Orlando started out once again pumping chances towards United’s goal with Dwyer and Kljestan having opportunities to equalize early on but could not capitalize. In the 78th minute Atlanta would double their lead and seal off the game with a goal from Emerson Hyndman, his first for the team since arriving on loan form Bournemouth in England. The play started out with Remedi, who was the Man of the Match in my opinion floating in a cross towards fullback Franco Escobar who tapped the ball towards Hyndman who was in the box unmarked and finishing the job with a left footed shot past the goalie making the result 2-0 and ending with another victory down south in Disneyland and continuing United’s unbeaten run of games with Orlando including six victories and two draws all-time in eight matches.
Atlanta will meet with Orlando again for another clash on Friday, August 23rd down in Orlando. Meanwhile, Atlanta’s next match will be on Sunday, August 11th at the Benz vs. New York City F.C. in a Eastern Conference Showdown. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 and will be live on ESPN. VAMOS UNITED!
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