MLS Juan Jose Purata scores Atlanta United draws Orlando City


Juan Jose Purata scored his first goal for his new club in the 71st minute to help Atlanta United salvage a 1-1 draw against visiting Orlando City SC on Sunday afternoon.

In his second start since signing on loan from Tigres UANL in Mexico, Purata’s set-piece header helped Atlanta (6-8-6, 24 points) earn at least a point in consecutive matches for the first time since May.

United moved back above Chicago on points into 11th place in the Eastern Conference and two points beneath the East playoff line ahead of other games later Sunday.

Mauricio Pereyra scored his first goal in more than a calendar year early for Orlando, which earned an MLS high-tying sixth draw on the road through 11 away matches.

Pedro Gallese made three saves for Orlando (8-7-6, 30 points), including two excellent second-half stops to help preserve a point.

Both Atlanta’s Josef Martinez and Orlando’s Alexandre Pato struck the upright in second-half stoppage time in these teams’ fourth draw in their last seven meetings.

Long before that, Facundo Torres earned the free kick that opened the scoring when he induced George Campbell into a foul.

Once referee Victor Rivas blew the whistle to resume play, Pereyra alertly spotted goalkeeper Rocco Rios Novo (no saves) still trying to line up his defensive wall at his left post, and curled a finish into the opposite corner.

The 10th-minute goal snapped a 48-match goalless drought in MLS play for Pereyra, who last found the net on May 16, 2021, in a 1-0 win at D.C. United.

But Pereyra committed the foul leading to the equalizer when he took down Caleb Wiley.

When play resumed, Thiago Almada curled in a right-footed swinging cross, and Purata escaped the mark of Antonio Carlos to redirect a header past Gallese from close range.

Atlanta had a flurry after leveling. Martinez fired only fractions wide of the top left corner in the 80th minute. A minute later, Gallese saved Luiz Araujo on the break and Martinez couldn’t corral the rebound. And a minute after that, Gallese sprawled to his right to save Dom Dwyer’s long-range effort.

Then came stoppage time, when Martinez struck the right post from a difficult angle before Pato hit the same upright from distance at the other end.

–Field Level Media


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