CHESTER, Pa. (April 8, 2016) – In a highly contested encounter, Orlando City SC (2-1-2, 8 points) suffered its first defeat of the season, falling 2-1 against the Philadelphia Union (3-2-0, 9 points) at Talen Energy Stadium on Friday night.
“I’m bitterly disappointed because I thought we should’ve taken something out of the game with the good opportunities that we had on the break. I thought they played with a lot of intensity, a lot of energy, and we had to weather the storm. I always thought at some stage we were going to get a break in the second half,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “I thought we were very naive in certain parts of our play this evening, and if we want to achieve what we want to achieve this season, we have to be better when we have the opportunities that we had tonight.”
In an end-to-end battle, in which both sides shared the possession and the offensive chances, the Lions created numerous threatening opportunities throughout the night. However, impressive saves by Union goalkeeper Andre Blake and a late game-winner by Tranquillo Barnetta gave Philadelphia the victory.
The Union initiated a fast start when C.J. Sapong capitalized early and opened the scoring sheet in the second minute of play. City quickly bounced back to control the majority of the possession, and minutes away from the end of the first half, Adrian Winter scored in a combination play with Kevin Molino. The clever finish was the second for the Swiss winger, who helped win City’s opening match on March 6 with a stoppage time comeback goal.
Following the break, both sides mounted forward aiming for the game-winner, but outstanding efforts by goalkeepers Joe Bendik and Blake maintained the score leveled for most of the game.
In the waning moments of the game, Philadelphia’s second half substitute Barnetta was able to curl a free-kick over Orlando’s wall to provide the game-winning goal for the home team.
After the introduction of debutant Brazilian striker Julio Baptista and winger Carlos Rivas in the final minutes, City came close to find the late equalizer when Winter’s powerful volley was denied by Blake.
The Lions return to the Orlando Citrus Bowl on April 17 to face the New England Revolution. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET.
2’ Philadelphia Union opens the scoring sheet early when a cross deflects off Rafael Ramos in front of the net and bounces directly to C.J. Sapong, who scores on the far post.
12’ Kaká had his first offensive opportunity of the evening when he received a ball from the corner of the box. The captain turned and shot from the edge of the box but his effort went wide.
18’ After Darwin Cerén recovered the ball in midfield, Kevin Molino found Kaká behind the defense to get the corner. Following the Brazilian’s delivery, Molino shot from inside the box but the ball was deflected for another corner.
19’ Seb Hines headed Kaká’s cross, but the effort went wide. The Lions are threatening the Union’s final third from set pieces.
24’ C.J Sapong generated another opportunity against the Lions’ backline, retrieving the ball to send a dangerous cross looking for Chris Pontius, but he could not connect with the midfielder.
30’ Molino wins a free kick on the right wing after Fabinho makes a dangerous play, where his cleats fly over Aurelien Collin’s head.
36’ Joe Bendik, who had had an impressive match against Portland last weekend, made his first save by detaining a dangerous shot from Sebastian Le Toux.
43’ The Lions leveled the match from a combination play between Molino and Winter. Molino beats a defender on the right side and found Winter outside the box. The Swiss winger flipped the ball over the defender and finished with a clinical left-footed strike.
45 (+1)’ The whistle ending the first half was blown (1-1).
49’ Winter comes close to helping City take the lead, after Kaká places one in front of the target. The Brazilian received the ball inside the box and found Winter, who fired from close range, but Andre Blake impressively sends it to the corner.
51’ Orlando continues pressuring offensively when Winter recovers and goes the opposite direction to connect with Kaká, who charges immediately but it goes too high.
52’ Joe Bendik made an outstanding save when Sapong had a one-on-one opportunity at the near post from inside the box, but City’s keeper closed the angle to nullify the danger.
61’ Molino creates another chance charging down the right and sent a long pass behind the defense looking for Kaká, but the keeper Blake came first to control the ball.
63’ Union uses its first substitutions of the evening looking to create more options, introducing Tranquillo Barnetta and Fabian Herbes for Sebastien Le Toux and Roland Alberg.
68’ Philadelphia came close to score, but Bendik denied them the advantage once again. A set piece delivery found Tribett in front of the goal and stroke with power, but Bendik continued his great form making the stop with his body to maintain the scoreline leveled.
76’ Tranquillo Barnetta took a free kick from the edge of the box, but his attempt went high and wide.
83’ Sapong threatened to backheel after a low cross from Fabinho, but Aurélien Collin did enough to prevent the goal.
89’ Second half substitute Tranquillo Barnetta scores from a free kick outside of the box. The Swiss curled his shot over the wall and placed it in the top 90.
90 (+1)’ Adrian Heath introduces Carlos Rivas and Julio Baptista for Molino and Nocerino, looking for a final attacking push.
90 (+1)’ Rivas created an opportunity seconds after entering, finding Winter at the far post. Winter manages to volley the ball toward the goal with a superb effort but Blake stopped it from going in with an outstanding save.
90 (+3)’ The referee indicates the end of the match, with the Union earning a 2-1 victory.
PHI - CJ Sapong 3’
ORL - Adrian Winter 43’ (Kevin Molino)
PHI - Tranquillo Barnetta 90’
PHI - Fabinho 30’ (Yellow Card)
Orlando City SC - GK Joe Bendik, D Aurelien Collin, Luke Boden, Seb Hines, M Rafael Ramos, Antonio Nocerino (Julio Baptista 91’), Darwin Cerén , Adrian Winter, Servando Carrasco, Kevin Molino (Carlos Rivas 91’), F Kaká
Substitutes: P Earl Edwards, Jr., D David Mateos, Kevin Alston, F Hadji Barry
Philadelphia Union - GK Andre Blake, D Fabinho, Richie Marquez, Keegan Rosenberry, Ken Tribbett, M Brian Carroll, Sebastien Le Toux (Fabian Herbes 63’), Vincent Nogueira, Chris Pontius (Leo Fernandes 85’), Roland Alberg (Tranquillo Barnetta 63’), F C.J. Sapong
Substitutes: GK Matthew Jones, D Raymon Gaddis, Anderson Conceicao, M Walter Restrepo
Details of the Game
Time: 7 p.m. ET
April 8, 2016
ORL - 13
PHI - 14
ORL - 48
PHI - 52
ORL - 4
PHI - 2
ORL - 7
PHI - 4