ORL- Blackwood 30’
JAX- Krizanovic 45’
ORL- Casey Caronis (Own goal) 58’
Orlando City SC- GK Tomas Gomez, D Eirik Bjoernoe, Ian Svantesson, Diogo Quirino, Skyler Russell, M Paul Clowes, Omar Djabi (Romillo Hernandez 73’), Andrew Brody, F Tyler Blackwood, Romario Williams (Noah Franke 56’), Alex Morrel (Tosan Popo 68’)
Jacksonville United FC- GK Daryl Sattler, D Jay Bolt, Alexander MacDonald, Nurdin Hrustic, Casey Caronis, M Chris Bush, Samuel Fairhurst (Richard Prestridge 70’), Tommy Krizanovic, F Tyler Williams, Rijad Kobiljar (Nedim Hrustic 77’), Ramak Safi (Ehjayson Henry 59’)
Time of Match: 4:30 p.m. EST
Weather: -- Cloudy
Sanford, Fla.– The Orlando City U23s made history on Wednesday evening when the Lions defeated the visitors from Jacksonville United FC 2-1 for the club’s first victory in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Jacksonville United FC applied pressure early into the match against the U23s young backline and ‘keeper, but failed to capitalize on any of their shot attempts. Forward Rijad Kobiljar had a few early chances, but couldn’t muster enough power to put ‘keeper Tomas Gomez in any trouble.
Jacksonville’s Midfielder Tommy Krizanovic joined Kobiljar with a long distance chance in the 20th minute, but Gomez made another easy save.
Orlando was able to counter four minutes later when Midfielder Andrew Brody got loose down the left flank and into the box to earn a corner off a deflected shot attempt. The Lions' corner went all the way to Jacksonville’s goalkeeper, Daryl Sattler, who fumbled the catch but his defense was able to clear the ball out of harm’s way.
From just outside the box, Krizanovic sent a cross toward the far post to a waiting Alexander MacDonald. The defender’s header went towards the bottom left corner, where Gomez was able to fall on it to make the save.
In the 30th minute, the U23s would jump onto scoreboard first when Romario Williams was able to run down a lobbed pass over Jacksonville’s defense and fire a shot that went straight to Sattler. The opposing keeper failed to make the save cleanly as the shot deflected right to a lurking striker, Tyler Blackwood, who would not miss from there, giving City the go ahead score.
Just before the halftime whistle blew, Jacksonville United FC was awarded a penalty after Defender Diogo Quirino took down one of the opposing strikers inside the box. Krizanovic would convert the penalty to the bottom right corner to knot the game up at one-all.
Once the second half got underway, the University of Tampa forward wasted little time making his presence felt after fellow Forward Alex Morrell laid off a ball to Blackwood. The Englishman forced Sattler to make a last second save to tip the ball over the crossbar.
The game would continue to go in City’s favor in the 54th minute when Jacksonville Defender Jay Bolt was issued a red card just outside of the penalty area. The Lions would keep applying the pressure and it would pay off for Orlando, resulting in the game-winning goal.
After a Skyler Russell cross that Jacksonville was forced to clear out of play for an Orlando corner. On the ensuing corner, Defender Eirik Bjoernoe sent the cross to the back post where a Jacksonville player knocked it into their own net to put the U23s back on top in the 58th minute where they would stay for the remainder of match.
But taking the lead would not alter Head Coach Paul Shaw’s game plan as the Lions sustained the momentum and kept the pressure on Jacksonville’s keeper.
Jacksonville United FC tried to make things interesting in the game’s waning minutes of the match when a City defender was whistled for a handball just outside of the 18-yard box. Krizanovic would line up the free kick opportunity and put the shot into the top left corner, forcing Gomez to make a remarkable save to keep the Lions ahead.
The U23s Premier Development League season is set to begin next week on Wednesday, May 21 at 7:00 p.m. against the Ocala Stampede at the Seminole Soccer Complex. City will face the winner of Panama City Beach Pirates and Charleston Battery on May 28.