MONTREAL – March 28, 2015 – Despite having seven players away for international duty and multiple others sidelined due to injuries, Orlando City SC (1-1-2, 5 points) earned an important road point on Saturday afternoon, drawing the Montreal Impact (0-1-2, 2 points) 2-2 at Olympic Stadium.
The Lions’ fell behind early on when Ignacio Piatti tucked away a penalty-kick after Sean St. Ledger was called for a handball inside the area. Montreal doubled their lead in the 27th minute when forward Jack McInerney ran behind the City defense and poked the ball over Orlando goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
Unrelenting, Orlando City responded one minute later when Pedro Ribeiro slotted away Kaká’s deflected effort. Less than two minutes later, the Lions equalized the scoreline when Kaká calmly finished Ribeiro pass inside the box for his second goal of the season.
“I thought we scored at the right time. It sort of gave us something to go for again because I thought we started quite hesitant, which was disappointing,” said head coach Adrian Heath. “But after we scored the first goal I think we got a foothold in the game, and I was very pleased from there on after. I honestly thought we were going to score again all evening, and I’m really delighted with the players’ attitude. I can’t praise the players enough. It’s been a difficult week for us with so many of the guys missing and this is a difficult place to come and play.”
8’ The home side provided the first chance of the match when midfielder Marco Donadel rifled a powerful effort from distance, forcing Orlando goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts to make a leaping save.
14’ Shortly afterward, a fortuitous bounce from a corner kick resulted in a penalty-kick for Montreal when defender Sean St. Ledger was called for handling the ball in the box. Despite diving the correct way, Ricketts was unable to make the save on Ignacio Piatti’s ensuing spot-kick, resulting in the Impact’s first goal of the season.
17’ Three minutes later, St. Ledger produced a goal-saving challenge in the box on Montreal forward Jack McInerney, who was left unmarked from 12 yards away.
22’ Orlando’s first real chance of the half occurred when Kaká employed a bit of trickery inside the box, forcing Kronberg to make a tough save.
27’ Things took a turn for the worse when McInerney chipped Ricketts after a miscommunication between the veteran goalkeeper and the City backline.
28’ Orlando pulled one back one minute later when Pedro Ribeiro bullied his way past several Impact defenders to tuck away Kaká’s deflected effort, bringing the Lions within one goal.
30’ The Ribeiro-Kaká connection continued two minutes later when the powerful striker charged at the Montreal defense and slipped the ball to Kaká who was surging alongside. Kaká took a clever first touch before slotting away the equalizer.
44’ With less than one minute remaining in the opening 45, Avila ran on to Ribeiro’s ball in the box for a chance on goal, but Montreal defender Wandrille Lefevre came across to make a hard tackle, denying the goal-scoring opportunity.
45’ Both sides finished the half level at 2-2, with Orlando controlling 58 percent of the possession.
59’ After a slow start to the second half, Ribeiro nearly gave Orlando the lead, volleying an effort from inside the box that went just over the bar.
63’ Collin chased down Oduro from behind and made a lunging tackle to dispossess the speedy winger.
65’ Bryan Róchez was brought into the game for Danny Mwanga to provide fresh legs and more attacking support.
71’ With less than 20 minutes remaining, McInerney made an acrobatic play in the box, hitting a bicycle-kick from eight yards away. Ricketts did well to collect the save but a foul was ultimately called in the box on Montreal.
84’ Chances on goal remained far and few between during the second half, as Orlando continued to battle for a crucial road point.
90’ The referee added five minutes of stoppage time, allowing Orlando to push for the game-winning goal.
95’ The referee blew the final whistle, resulting in a 2-2 draw.
MON - Ignacio Piatti (penalty kick) 14’
MON - Jack McInerney (unassisted) 27’
ORL - Pedro Ribeiro (Kaká) 29’
ORL - Kaká (Pedro Ribeiro) 30’
MON - Ignacio Piatti (Yellow) 14’
MON - Dominic Oduro (Yellow) 34’
MON - Marco Donadel (Yellow) 58’
ORL - Aurélien Collin (Yellow) 63’
VAN - Nigel Reo-Coker (Yellow) 74’
ORL - Tyler Turner (Yellow) 76’|
Orlando City SC – GK Donovan Ricketts, D Luke Boden, Aurélien Collin, Sean St. Ledger, Seb Hines, M Amobi Okugo, Eric Avila, Kaká, Tyler Turner, F Pedro Ribeiro, Danny Mwanga (Bryan Róchez 65’)
Montreal Impact – GK Eric Kronberg, D Victor Cabrera, Bakary Soumare, Wandrille Lefevre, Donny Toia, M Dominic Oduro, Marco Donadel (Andres Romero 69’), Ignacio Piatti, Nigel Reo-Coker (Patrice Bernier 76’), Eric Alexander, F Jack McInerney (Romario Williams 84’)
Time of Match: 4:00 p.m. EST
March 28, 2015
ORL - 8
MON - 9
ORL - 3
MON - 6
ORL - 1
MON - 2
ORL - 13
MON - 23
ORL - 2
MON - 1
Orlando's next match will take place against D.C. United on Friday, April 3. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Orlando Citrus Bowl.