ORLANDO – April 3, 2015 – In an end to end high intensity fixture, Orlando City Soccer Club (1-2-2, 5 points) suffered a 1-0 defeat to D.C. United (3-1-0, 9 points) at the Orlando Citrus Bowl on Friday night, despite dominating possession and chances on goal.
The Lions displayed an entertaining brand of soccer before 32,822 fans at the their home stadium, creating numerous threatening efforts throughout the night. However, D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid delivered several big-time saves to keep his side in the match.
Then, in the waning moments of the game, United's second half substitute Luis Silva was able to curl a free-kick over Orlando's wall to provide the game-winning goal for the visitors.
"It’s not very often you create as many chances as we have to not score a goal and get dogged again on a set piece. It’s not an easy night," said head coach Adrian Heath. " I feel for the players, the players have done everything they can to win a game of football. I thought they were terrific in a lot of aspects of play. But it’s the oldest saying in football; ‘Goals change games’ and we didn’t score when we had really good opportunities at really important times."
9' After recovering a loose ball in the midfield, Amobi Okugo played it to Kaká who produced a clever backheel in behind to Molino but it was a bit too heavy for the Trinidadian.
12' Brek Shea gets free on the left-hand-side and curls a dangerous cross into the box that forces U.S. Men's National Team goalkeeper Bill Hamid to make a nervous save.
16' Ribeiro holds the ball up well in the box and forces a corner. On the ensuing set-piece, Kaká and Brek Shea combined for a short-corner, leading to a whipped ball into the box from the left-back to Okugo - whose header came within inches of finding the back of the net.
19' As Orlando began to build-up its momentum, the Lions' progress was momentarily impeded when forward Pedro Ribeiro went down with an injury after a powerful run at the United defense. Head Coach Adrian Heath brought on 2015 MLS SuperDraft first overall pick Cyle Larin to replace the Brazilian striker.
22' Larin came on and made an immediate impact, surging in behind for a clear chance on goal. However, the rookie, who was making his second professional MLS appearance, had his final effort deflected wide.
24' Shortly afterward, Larin continued to cause problems for the D.C. defense, forcing another corner for City. Aurélien Collin was left un-marked on the following corner kick, producing a strong header that went just high of the target.
30' With Orlando controlling 55 percent of the possession, threatening chances were plentiful in the opening half. City's most dangerous opportunity of the first 45 came when Shea drove a ball into the box that found Molino, after defender Taylor Kemp missed the clearance. Molino took advantage of the missed clearance and rifled a strong shot that rattled off the crossbar.
32' Less than two minutes later, Molino clipped the ball over the backline to Rafael Ramos, who charged at goal for one-on-one with Hamid. With a tough angle at the near-post, the right-back's effort was saved by the goalkeeper.
38' As the match approached hafltime, the visitors made an attempt to fight back into the game when Kemp broke free down the left side and drove a ball to the near-post toward veteran striker Chris Pontius. City's defense were positioned well though, and Collin and Hines were able to disrupt play to protect goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
40' Orlando countered two minutes later when Kaká displayed his brilliance in the midfield, bursting past several defenders to play a crafty through-ball to Molino. The speedy winger was able to latch on to Kaká's pass before a charging Hamid, but the U.S. international coordinated another world-class save to keep the scoreline level.
45' Moments before the halftime whistle, Orlando continued to force Hamid to make difficult saves when Molino found Larin with a searching ball into the box. The 19-year-old connected well with Molino's cros for a header, but Hamid was able to get low quickly and make the save.
49' Orlando opened the second half on the strong foot when Shea hit a threatening cross in the box toward Larin. The striker dummied Shea's ball, leaving it for Molino who had his strike cleared away by the United defense.
55' D.C. began maintaining more possession in the second half, leading to a golden opportunity for defender Sean Franklin, who blasted a clear-chance high and wide.
62' Orlando continued to put D.C. under pressure with crosses into the box, leading to another corner for the home side. Kaká's curling ball into the area found Collin, who redirected his header to Okugo, but the defensive midfielder was unable to nod it on target.
67' In the 67th minute. Brek Shea and Donovan Ricketts produced two athletic saves to keep the score level when it appeared D.C. was destined to find the back of the net. Conor Doyle broke through the Orlando defense, cutting back inside for a chance on goal. Doyle's initial effort was well-saved by Ricketts, and Shea pulled off an acrobatic goal-line clearance to prevent Pontius' follow-up shot.
70' Heath introduced speedy winger Carlos Rivas for Eric Avila to provide more attacking firepower in the final third.
77' Kaká cut inside for a left-footed shot but struck it over the target.
78' Rivas turned and hit a strong low effort from distance, but Hamid, once again, was able to parry it wide for a corner.
80' Two minutes later, Rivas produced City's best chance of the second half when the Colombian was played into space by Molino who ran at D.C.'s defense with pace. Rivas lined up another powerful attempt, but pulled it wide of the far-post.
84' Okugo was on the end of another corner to the back-post, but headed it over the bar.
91' After being awarded a free-kick, Silva curled a bending free-kick over the wall to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
92' In the final minute of the game, Rivas hit a free-kick that skipped just wide of the post, resulting in a 1-0 final score.
DCU – Luis Silva (Unassisted) 91'
ORL – Kevin Molino (Yellow Card) 27'
DCU – Davy Arnaud (Yellow Card) 60'
ORL – Darwin Cerén (Yellow Card) 65'
ORL – Carlos Rivas (Yellow Card) 83'
Orlando City SC – GK Donovan Ricketts, D Brek Shea, Aurélien Collin, Seb Hines, Rafael Ramos (Bryan Róchez 93'), M Amobi Okugo, Darwin Cerén, Eric Avila (Carlos Rivas 71'), Kevin Molino, Kaká F Pedro Ribeiro (Cyle Larin 21')
D.C. United – GK Bill Hamid, D Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, Kofi Opare, Taylor Kemp, M Davy Arnaud, Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon (Michael Farfan 46'), Chris Rolfe (Luis Silva 76'), F Jairo Arrieta (Conor Doyle 53'), Chris Pontius
Time of Match: 7:00 p.m. EST
Weather: Clear April 3, 2015
ORL - 17
DCU - 11
ORL – 9
DCU – 5
ORL – 5
DCU – 1
ORL – 11
DCU – 15
ORL – 4
DCU – 5
Orlando's next match will take place against the Portland Timbers on Sunday, April 12. Kick-off is scheduled for 5 p.m ET at Providence Park. The Lions' next home game will be against Toronto FC April 26 at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET.