Orlando City SC vs. Atlanta United FC – Football Match Report – April 17, 2021 – ESPN

Former MLS MVP and all-time Atlanta United leading scorer Josef Martinez made his first league appearance in more than a year, but was forced to settle for a scoreless draw against host Orlando City on a day their new star, Alexandre Pato, left the game with an injury.

Atlanta has yet to allow a goal in three total matches under new coach Gabriel Heinze, who also helped engineer two 1-0 victories over LD Alajuelense in the first round of the CONCACAF Champions League earlier this month.

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Former Brazil international Pato made his MLS debut for Orlando, but left in the 80th minute with an apparent right leg injury.

Orlando City are now unbeaten in their last five league meetings against United after failing to defeat Atlanta in any competition in the first three years of the rivalry.

Orlando and Pato’s best chance came in the 72nd minute, moments before the second-half hydration break. After turning Atlanta over in its own end, Chris Mueller got wide left and then dragged a cross toward Pato.

The Brazilian struck it toward goal with his first touch, but defender Anton Walkes slid, deflecting and deadening the effort, and Brad Guzan was able to save it before it crossed the line.

Pato limped off the field seven-plus minutes later after he landed awkwardly trying to avoid a sliding challenge from Atlanta’s Franco Ibarra.

Martinez had a late opportunity to give Atlanta the lead in the 83rd minute, when he headed Ezequiel Barco‘s free kick wide of the left post with much of the goal open.

Ibarra also had a well-struck effort from distance in the 90th minute that was competently saved by Orlando goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.

There were few clear chances inside the opening hour. Nani had Orlando’s only shot on target of the first half in the 29th minute after taking a pass from Junior Urso.

Atlanta’s Jake Mulraney had a speculative effort from distance for his side’s only effort on target before the interval.

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