PORTLAND – April 12, 2015 – Orlando City Soccer Club (2-2-2, 8 points) produced its second victory of the 2015 season, defeating the venerable Portland Timbers (1-2-3, 6 points) 2-0 at Providence Park to snap the Timbers’ seven game unbeaten streak at home, dating back to the 2014 season.
In addition, the win slides Orlando into third place in the Eastern Conference.
Despite playing in one of the most intimidating atmospheres in Major League Soccer (MLS), Orlando City managed to stun the crowd early in the match, scoring first in the 30th minute.
“Overall, I’m a firm believer of ‘you get out what you put in,’ and these guys have put so much in during the past few weeks with not a lot of reward. Today, I thought the guys got a bit of payback for maybe D.C. or Vancouver,” said head coach Adrian Heath. “This is a terrific place to come and play football. These are the environments that you want to come and play in, and I’m just so pleased for our players that they’ve come and quited them just a bit.”
The goal was the result of continuous pressure from City throughout out the first half, marking the first professional goal for rookie striker Cyle Larin, who cleverly chested Molino’s cross in the back of the net to become the youngest player to score in the Club’s brief MLS history.
“The finish was fantastic because there was no way he was going to be able to control the ball and shoot in that tight of an area,” continued Heath. “It was a really good improvisation on his part and I think that will be the first of many for him in MLS.”
The Timbers made more of a concerted effort to venture forward in second 45, but Kaká provided additional cushion for the visitors late in the match, converting from 12 yards away.
The Lions were awarded the penalty when second half substitute Carlos Rivas was brought down in the box.
Kaká’s initial effort was saved by Timbers goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey, but the playmaker calmly slotted his second strike down the middle, after being granted another attempt due to encroachment in the box by defensive midfielder Diego Chara.
4’ Rafael Ramos was played down the right-hand-side by Kaká, before whipping a ball into the box toward Larin. The Timbers’ defense did well to head the danger away.
10’ Fanendo Adi was on the end of Rodney Wallace’s cross, hitting his final effort over the crossbar.
11’ Darwin Cerén found Kevin Molino in the area, who employed a sharp first touch to turn and spin away from his defender. The Trinidadian’s shot was deflected wide.
13’ Orlando’s strong play continued shortly afterward when Brek Shea powered by the Portland defense, pulling the ball back to Molino inside the box. Molino’s strike appeared to hit Borchers’ hand, but the referee signalled play-on.
17’ Portland midfielder Darlington Nagbe surged forward on the counter-attack, firing from the left side at Donovan Ricketts who parried it wide.
21’ Kaká played a crafty ball down the wing to Shea, whose cross was tipped wide for a corner.
22’ Orlando’s best chance came after direct play down the right side, as Molino rolled Larin in behind. The rookie attempted to curl his shot to the far post, missing the target by just inches.
30’ Orlando’s dominance in possession eventually yielded a final product with 15 minutes remaining in the half. After pouncing on a second ball just outside the area, Molino drove the ball into Larin, who skilfully re-directed it with his chest to find the back of the net.
39’ Maintaining a 1-0 lead with six minutes remaining in the opening half, Orlando continued to control possession, strategically searching for another goal.
45’ With three minutes of stoppage time added by the referee, Portland earned a dangerous free-kick deep inside Orlando’s half. Defender Jorge Villafana’s ensuing set piece was threatening, but City’s defense did well to clear the danger.
45’ Orlando went into the locker-rooms up 1-0 at the half.
48’ The second half opened up with a slower pace to the match, as both teams shared possession.
52’ Kaká ran at the Portland defense and snuck the ball by two Timbers defenders toward Shea in the box, but the U.S. international was unable to latch on to it.
54’ Nagbe found space on the counter-attack and fired a strong shot that sailed over the target.
64’ Portland created a nervous moment for the Orlando backline when Chara floated a ball toward Adi on the back post. Adi headed the ball back across to Urruti whose heavy touch allowed City recover and clear it away.
67’ Three minutes later, Adi was causing problems once again. heading Alvas Powell’s cross just over the bar.
71’ Nagbe sprinted at the Lions’ defense and set the ball wide for Powell, who redirected the ball toward the target. Ricketts came up big for Orlando, producing a reflex-save to preserve the clean-sheet.
73’ Kaká’s lofted cross skimmed off Aurélien Collin’s head, dropping inches wide of the post.
75’ Portland’s pressure continued. Nagbe found Urruti in the box for a chance on goal but Seb Hines was able to make a sliding-challenge to block his effort.
81’ Head Coach Adrian Heath brought on Carlos Rivas for Larin - providing fresh legs up front.
83’ The Colombian made an immediate impact, running on to a well-weighted pass from Kaká. Rivas attempted to round Timbers goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey, who had no choice but to bring the speedster down in the box - resulting in a penalty for the Lions.
84’ Kwarasey did well to save Kaká’s initial effort but the Brazilian was granted another opportunity when Chara was whistled for encroachment. City’s superstar went down the middle on his follow-up attempt, sending Kwarasey the wrong way.
90’ Referee added four minutes of stoppage time, as Orlando managed the match to preserve the clean-sheet.
94’ Orlando City recorded its second victory of the 2015 campaign.
ORL - Cyle Larin (Kevin Molino) 30’
ORL - Kaká (Penalty-kick) 84’
POR - Alvas Powel (Yellow Card) 28’
POR - Diego Chara (Yellow Card) 45’
ORL - Amobi Okugo (Yellow Card) 46’
ORL – Brek Shea (Yellow Card) 82’
Orlando City SC – GK Donovan Ricketts, D Brek Shea, Aurélien Collin, Seb Hines, Rafael Ramos, M Amobi Okugo, Darwin Cerén, Cristian Higuita (Eric Avila 69’), Kevin Molino, Kaká, F Cyle Larin (Carlos Rivas 81’)
Portland Timbers – GK Adam Kwarasey, D Nat Borchers, Jorge Villafana (Gaston Fernandez 81’), Alvas Powell, Liam Ridgewell, M Darlington Nagbe, Rodney Wallace (Dairon Asprilla 54’), Diego Chara, George Fochive (Jack Jewsbury 46’), F Fanendo Adi, Maximiliano Urruti
Time of Match: 5:00 p.m. ET
April 12, 2015
ORL - 7
POR - 18
ORL - 4
POR - 3
ORL - 1
POR - 1
ORL - 16
POR - 13
ORL - 4
POR - 1
Orlando's next match will take place against Columbus Crew SC on Saturday, April 18. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m ET at MAPFRE Stadium. The Lions’ next home game will be against Toronto FC on April 26 at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET.