Orlando City at Wilmington Hammerheads

Match Recap: Orlando City at Wilmington Hammerheads

Team                   1  2  Final
Orlando City           1  0  1
Wilmington Hammerheads 1  2  3

Scoring Summary:
OC – Dennis Chin (Jerome Mechack) 14
WIL - Corey Hertzog (Mark Briggs) 25
WIL - Mark Briggs (Corey Hertzog) 56
WIL - Corey Hertzog (unassisted) 90+

Misconduct Summary:
WIL – Corey Hertzog (Caution; Unsporting behavior) 26
WIL - Gareth Evans (Caution; dissent) 77

Lineups:
Orlando City – Miguel Gallardo, Jerome Mechack, Kieron Bernard (Ian Fuller 81), Luke Boden, Rob Valentino (Kyle Davies 43), Anthony Pulis, James O'Connor, Kevin Molino, Charlie Campbell (John Rooney 72), Dennis Chin, Jamie Watson

Wilmington Hammerheads – Alexander Horwath, Dylan Riley, Gareth Evans, Tyler Lassiter, Yahaya Musa, Luke Holmes (Bryce Taylor 62), Troy Cole (Manny Guzman), Paul Nicholson, Mark Briggs (Daniel Roberts 71), Corey Hertzog, Andriy Budnyy (Andres Cuero 72)

Wilmington, N.C. - Orlando City Soccer Club lost its first match of the season tonight, 3-1 on the road against the Wilmington Hammerheads. The loss ends the Lions’ unbeaten streak to start this season at nine games.

Dennis Chin put Orlando on the board first. Jerome Mechack launched a long ball from deep within the Lions’ half of the pitch. It found Chin, two Hammerheads defenders, and the oncoming Wilmington Goalkeeper, Alex Horwath. Chin was able to toe-tap the pass just after it hit the ground, stunning Horwath. He could do nothing but watch the ball squirt by him and roll into the empty net.

It did not take Wilmington long to equalize. Less than 15 minutes later, Mark Briggs sprung newly minted Corey Hertzog, on loan from MLS side New York Red Bulls. Hertzog appeared to be offside, but play continued as he rounded Miguel Gallardo and fired into the open net. Both Gallardo and Defender Rob Valentino protested, but the goal stood.

After Hertzog’s goal, the match settled. Both sides managed close calls for the go-ahead goal, but could not capitalize on the opportunities presented. City lost Valentino just before the halftime whistle as his bothersome hamstring flared up. His replacement, Kyle Davies, and the Lions kept the Hammerheads away from the net for the remainder of the half and headed to the locker room with the match knotted at 1-1.

The Hammerheads came out of the locker room aggressively, and were rewarded for their efforts in the 56th minute. Hertzog’s long throw found Briggs for a snap header and a Hammerheads lead. Wilmington remained on the attack for most of the match.

Orlando City appeared to have found the equalizer on a Gareth Evans own-goal in the 67th minute, but Evans was judged to have been fouled. The goal was waived off, giving the momentum back to the Hammerheads. City mounted a flurry of attacks in the final 10 minutes, but ultimately came up short. Hertzog iced the match in stoppage time after Davies slipped, gifting Hertzog with a one-on-one with Gallardo. Gallardo came out to challenge Hertzog, but his first touch gave him a wide open look and an easy finish.

Despite the loss, the Lions will remain at the top of the USL PRO table. Rochester Rhinos 1-0 loss to Richmond Kickers keeps the gap between Orlando and Rochester at three points.

Next up for Orlando City is a return home and a clash with rivals Charleston Battery on June 9. The match is Orlando’s 2012 television debut, with the match being aired on Brighthouse Sports Network. Jeff Radcliffe and Eddie Garcia will be on the call for the match. Tickets start at just $15. Call 855-ORL-CITY for more information.

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