Orlando City Rally from Two Goals Down for 2-2 Opening Day Draw

mtl recap 19

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 2, 2019) - Orlando City SC (0-0-1, 1 point) 
battled back from a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 against New York City FC (0-0-1, 1 point) in its 2019 Major League Soccer (MLS) opener on Saturday at Orlando City Stadium.

With the result, the Lions remain unbeaten on MLS Opening day with a 1-0-4 record in five contests. Saturday was also the second time that City has erased a two-goal deficit to earn a result in its first match of an MLS campaign after scoring in the 94th and 95th minutes respectively to draw Real Salt Lake in 2016.

Head Coach James O’Connor:

“I think we were all a little frustrated to be going in 2-nil down because, I think when you look at the balance of play and the way the first half went, we felt that we didn’t deserve to be 2-nil down. But we were 2-nil down. We said ‘You either sit and feel sorry for yourself or you go out and you keep believing and you keep pushing and you keep doing the things that we’re talking about’...That was something that we always felt, even at 2-nil down, that we could go and win the game because, candidly, when you look at the players and the supporters, we felt if we got one goal that the supporters would really lift the roof and obviously Nani and Dom [Dwyer] coming on, that got the crowd into it as well. I think that’s the opportunity that we have here with our supporters to really impact the game as well.”

Scoring Recap:

13’ Ebenezer Ofori (Jonathan Lewis) - NYC 1, ORL 0

The visitors get on the board first, with Ebenezer Ofori firing a low, driven shot from outside the box that carommed in off the post.

45’ Alexander Ring (Alexandru Mitrițӑ) -
NYC 2, ORL 0

New York City adds to its lead just before the break with a finish by Alexander Ring inside the six-yard box after a through ball from Alexandru Mitrițӑ.  

59’ Chris Mueller - NYC 2, ORL 1

The Lions get on the board thanks to a free kick off the foot of Chris Mueller from the left side that bounced passed the hands of NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson.

75’ Tesho Akindele (Dom Dwyer, Nani) - NYC 2, ORL 2

After entering in the 70th minute, Nani springs Dom Dwyer free down the left side, creating a two-on-one break. After taking some space, Dwyer sends the ball across the face of goal to Tesho Akindele, who opens his 2019 scoring account with a sliding score.

Match Highlights:

15’ -
 Chris Mueller with the Lions best chance early on, however his 12-yard attempt whistles wide of the left post.

77’ - 
Orlando midfielder Nani makes his highly-anticipated debut in front of the City faithful, coming in in the 77th minute as a substitute for Sebastián Méndez.

- Lions goalkeeper Brian Rowe keeps the NYCFC lead at one with a save on a breakaway shot from Maxi Moralez.

80’ - 
Looking to take a 3-2 lead, Chris Mueller lofts the ball to Dom Dwyer, who headed it toward the ground and appeared to go off the hand of Maxime Chanot. After playing on, the play went to video review but the original call on the field stood.

Next Match:

The Lions will face their first road test next week, traveling to take on the Chicago Fire at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 9 at SeatGeek Stadium.
Scoring Summary:

NYC - 
Ebenezer Ofori (Jonathan Lewis) 13’

NYC - 
Alexander Ring (Alexandru Mitrițӑ) 45’

ORL - 
Chris Mueller 59’

ORL - 
Tesho Akindele (Dom Dwyer, Nani) 75’

Misconduct Summary:

ORL - 
Sebastián Méndez (Yellow Card) 9’

ORL - 
Alex de John (Yellow Card) 17’

NYC - 
Ben Sweat (Yellow Card) 19’

- Maxime Chanot (Yellow Card) 56’

ORL - 
Dom Dwyer (Yellow Card) 73’


Orlando City SC - 
GK Brian Rowe;  D Alex de John, Shane O’Neill, Kamal Miller; M Will Johnson, Danilo Acosta, Kyle Smith (Dom Dwyer 69’), Sebastián Méndez (Nani 70’), ⓒ Sacha Kljestan; F Tesho Akindele (Josué Colmán 77’), Chris Mueller

Substitutes Not Used: GK Greg Ranjitsingh; D Carlos Ascues; M Oriol Rosell; Cristian Higuita

New York City FC 
- GK Sean Johnson; D Ben Sweat (Tony Rocha 78’), Anton Tinnerholm, Maxime Chanot, Alexander Callens; M James Sands (M Keaton Parks 88’), Alexander Ring, Maxi Moralez, Ebenezer Ofori, F Jonathan Lewis (Jesus Medina 72’), Alexandru Mitrițӑ

Substitutes Not Used: GK Brad Stuver; D Sebastien Ibeagha; M Valentin Castellanos; F Ismael Tajouri-Shradi

Details of the Game:

Time: 2:30 p.m. ET

Weather: Clear

Date: March 2, 2019

Attendance: 25,527



- 57.9%

- 42.1%


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