Orlando City beats Atlanta United for first time

Chris Mueller continued his excellent form with a goal and an assist before half-time to help Orlando City to a 3-1 victory over Atlanta United on Saturday, marking the club's first-ever win over its geographic rivals.

Junior Urso posted his first MLS goal and second assist, and Nani scored late off the bench for Orlando, which had lost six of eight previous all-time MLS meetings with Atlanta, as well as a 2019 U.S. Open Cup semifinal.

Pedro Gallese made one exceptional diving stop in each half to help the Lions secure a second consecutive win and move into third in the Eastern Conference above Philadelphia, which was scheduled to play later Saturday.

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Orlando defender Joao Moutinho, who helped set up Mueller's goal, exited in the second half with an apparent groin injury.

Brooks Lennon scored on a header to briefly chop Atlanta's deficit in half, with recently acquired winger Jurgen Damm providing the cross in his club debut.

Erick "Cubo" Torres also made his maiden appearance for Atlanta off the bench, but could not help his new club complete a comeback.

Urso gave Orlando the lead in the 13th minute, meeting Mueller's outswinging corner kick and hammering a low header through the legs of goalkeeper Brad Guzan from eight yards. Guzan got his hands to the header but only slowed its progress across the line.

The Lions doubled their lead 22 minutes later on their best attack of the half. After Moutinho won a header in midfield, Mueller was first to the ball. He quickly found Darryl Dike moving forward, Dike turned and spotted Benji Michel on the right, and then Michel crossed back to Mueller who finished easily beyond a stranded Guzan.

Pedro Gallese and Kyle Smith
Pedro Gallese and Kyle Smith
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It was Mueller's sixth goal of the season, to go with three assists.

Gallese made the second of his spectacular stops in the 66th minute, when he leaped to guide Ezequiel Barco's dipping strike over the crossbar.

That proved crucial 17 minutes later when Damm faked out his defender on the right and sent in a cross toward the penalty spot, where Brooks headed it back across goal, beyond Gallese and inside the right post.

But Urso added insurance three minutes later, when he forced Pity Martinez into a turnover and set up Nani for an easy finish.