ORLANDO – May 8, 2015 – In its first Major League Soccer (MLS) match in 12 days, Orlando City Soccer Club (2-4-3, 9 points) battled the New England Revolution (5-2-3, 18 points) to a 2-2 draw before 27,243 fans at the Orlando Citrus Bowl.
After conceding two consecutive goals to the Revolution, the Lions fought back in dramatic fashion - scoring twice in the final 15 minutes to earn a crucial point. Forward Cyle Larin provided the opening finish for City in the 75th minute - approximately three minutes after New England’s second goal.
For his second professional goal, the rookie connected with a well-placed ball from defender Rafael Ramos - slotting home a powerful header into the back of the net. Larin’s goal reinvigorated City’s squad, urging the Lions to push forward toward a purple wall of fans in search of an equalizer.
In the final moments of the fixture, veteran defender and 2013 MLS Cup MVP Aurelién Collin scored a second header for City, bullying the New England defense before rattling his effort off the crossbar and into the back of the net.
Head Coach Adrian Heath introduced Luke Boden into the starting lineup for the second time this season - sliding Brek Shea further up the pitch in the left midfield role. After the match, Heath credited his side’s ability to respond to adversity.
“Obviously, we started very apprehensively. We allowed a very good, confident team to dictate the pace of the game, and I thought we played off the back foot and gave them too much respect,” said Heath. “But, after the first 20-25 minutes, we got a little bit of a foothold in the game. We pushed more men forward and gave them something to defend. I didn’t think we did enough in the first half, but I actually thought the response of the players was magnificent. I don’t think they (New England) had another opportunity during the second 45, so obviously we turned the game around in our favor.”
2’ New England were awarded a dangerous free-kick early in the match after striker Juan Agudelo was brought down on the edge of the area. However, the wall did well to deflect his effort wide.
10’ Aurélien Collin floated a great ball over the defense to forward Cyle Larin, but the rookie was unable to bring it down.
16’ Nguyen skipped past the City backline, creating a nervous moment, however his final effort was well wide of the target.
19’ The Revolution managed to find the back of the net in the 19th minute, after a turnover from the Lions deep in their own half. Forward Charlie Davies scored the opening goal, finding the bottom corner at the near-post.
24’ Midfielder Darwin Cerén employed a bit of trickery to turn past his defender before powering a shot that drifted wide of the target - an encouraging sign for City who were actively pursuing an equalizer.
26’ City’s pressure in the final third continued two minutes later, when Cerén found Shea on the back post for a headed effort.
33’ With the momentum building, a golden opportunity was created for Seb Hines on a corner. Eric Avila found the center-half unmarked on the back post, but his header went just inches over the cross bar.
40’ With five minutes remaining in the second half, New England came close to doubling their lead when Woodberry’s header ricocheted off the post. Davies followed up with another effort, but veteran goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts produced an acrobatic save to tip it off the post.
45 (+2) The referee blew the halftime whistle - with Orlando trailing 1-0 as both teams were level on shots created (4-4).
50’ Luke Boden drove a ball to the near post for Avila, who collided with defender Andrew Farrell as the ball went out for a corner.
54’ Collin came close to leveling the scoreline for City, flicking Boden’s curling corner on target. The Revolution did well to clear the danger to preserve their clean-sheet.
55’ One minute later, Avila had the best chance of the night - stemming from a well-placed cross by Boden. Avila was left all alone in the box, but his volleyed effort missed the target.
66’ Midway through the second half, Hines nearly sent “The Wall” into pandemonium when his header went just inches over the crossbar.
72’ Things took a turn for the worse in the 72nd minute when another turnover in City’s defensive third proved to be costly. Second-half substitute Kelyn Rowe intercepted a back-pass from Ramos to Ricketts and slotted it into the back of the net.
75’ However, Ramos redeemed himself three minutes later when he found Larin with a beautiful cross for City’s first goal of the game. Larin’s second professional goal featured a strong header over the Revolution defense, leaving Bobby Shuttleworth with no chance of making a save.
82’ With less than 10 minutes remaining in the game. New England began attempting to maintain more possession and sustain the City’s immense pressure.
83’ Minutes after being brought on for Larin, Bryan Rochez created a very dangerous chance in very difficult circumstances. With Ramos’ ball played behind him, Rochez used his athleticism and attempted to bicycle-kick the ball into the back of the net.
90’ In the waning moments of the match, Collin provided a timely equalizer in dramatic fashion, powering home a strong header in the final minute of the match.
90 (+5) ’ The referee added five minutes of stoppage time. However, time would run out before the Lions were able to find the back of the net for a third time.
NER - Charlie Davies (Unassisted) 19’
NER - Kelyn Rowe (Unassisted) 72’
ORL - Cyle Larin (Rafael Ramos) 75’
ORL - Aurelién Collin (Luke Boden) 90’
ORL - Brek Shea (Yellow Card) 31’
NER - London Woodbery (Yellow Card) 38’
ORL - Amobi Okugo (Yellow Card) 39’
ORL - Rafael Ramos (Yellow Card) 45 (+1)
NER - Jermaine Jones (Yellow Card) 52’
ORL - Kaka (Yellow Card) 65’
ORL - Carlos Rivas (Yellow Card) 76’
Orlando City SC – GK Donovan Ricketts, D Luke Boden, Seb Hines, Aurelién Collin, Rafael Ramos, M Amobi Okugo (Cristian Higuita 46’), Darwin Cerén, Brek Shea, Eric Avila (Carlos Rivas 72’), Kaká, F Cyle Larin (Bryan Rochez 81’)
New England Revolution – GK Bobby Shuttleworth, D Andrew Farrell, London Woodbery, Chris Tierney, M Andy Dorman, Scott Caldwell, Jermaine Jones, Teal Bunbury, Lee Nguyen (Diego Fagundez 86’), F Charlie Davies (Kelyn Rowe 60’), Juan Agudelo (Kevin Alston 72’)
Time of Match: 8:00 p.m. ET
May 8, 2015
The Lions’ next match will take place against D.C. United on Wednesday, May 13, at RFK Memorial Stadium. Kick-off is set for 8:00 p.m. ET. Orlando City will return to the Orlando Citrus Bowl on Sunday, May 17, for a marquee match-up against the LA Galaxy. Kick-off is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. ET.