ORLANDO, FLA. – June 30, 2015 – Orlando City SC continued its run in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night, defeating Eastern Conference foes Columbus Crew SC 2-0 to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2013.
Carlos Rivas and Kaka’s goals in the first half would be all the Lions needed to advance on Tuesday night, as City extended its unbeaten run at the Orlando Citrus Bowl to seven games and also recorded its third clean-sheet in as many matches. In addition, City’s home attendance of 13,684 signifies the second highest attended Open Cup game in 2015 for all clubs in the competition.
After an early chance from Columbus that rattled off the post, Orlando’s relentless pressure in the final third ensued with City pushing to find the back of the net. Kaka’s goal eventually came in the 21st minute, after Darwin Ceren intercepted the ball deep inside Crew SC’s defensive third. The El Salvadorian then drove forward with the ball and laid it off for Kaka, who produced a clinical finish to put Orlando up 1-0.
Fifteen minutes later, Carlos Rivas, who was causing problems for Columbus all night, doubled City’s lead with a blistering strike from 25 yards away to send the crowd into an uproar. The goal marked the Colombian’s fourth finish in two Open Cup games so far this season, tying him for first place in the Open Cup.
“I’m delighted to get through it against a very good team, a well-coached team. I was pleased with the players’ attitude and desire to win the game. It was never easy at any stage during the evening,” said head coach Adrian Heath. “We sat down and spoke about this with the team. We said, ‘Can we make the playoffs? Can we be competitive in the Open Cup? Can we make it to the last game of the season?’ They know what my feelings are on the competition, and I want to win it. We are going to do everything we can, and put the necessary team out on the field to win the game.”
4’ Columbus produced the game’s first real dangerous chance when Adam Bedell’s header rattled off the post.
10’ Kaka played a fantastic through ball that pierced the defense to Rivas, who struggled to get a clean shot off.
21’ Moments after Sean St. Ledger’s goal was ruled offside, Kaka would put the Lions ahead 1-0 with a clinical finish. The goal stemmed from an interception deep in Columbus’ half from Darwin Ceren, who laid the ball off to the Brazilian for his ninth goal in all competitions this season.
28’ Ceren floated a precise diagonal ball to Rivas, who was on the run in behind his marker. The Colombian pulled it back on the edge of the area for Kaka, who played it back to Rivas for a dangerous cross in the box. Crew SC did well to cope with the danger though.
35’ Ten minutes before the end of the first half, Rivas doubled Orlando’s lead with a blistering effort from 25 yards away for his fourth goal in two Open Cup games this season.
45 (+2) The referee blew the halftime whistle with the Lions holding a 2-0 lead.
48’ Similar to the first half, Columbus opened the second 45 with another threatening chance when Kristinn Steindorsson’s header went over Tally Hall and seemed to be on its way into the back of the net. However, St. Ledger read the play well and headed it the ball off the goal-line, preserving the clean-sheet.
66’ Rivas and Kaka combined effectively once again the final third, leading to a golden chance for Eric Avila whose effort was hit over the crossbar.
69’ Shortly afterward, Ramos floated a ball into the box that found an unmarked Pedro Ribeiro. Unfortunately, the Brazilian’s header just missed the target.
80’ Carlos Rivas was announced as man of the match after one of his best performances in a purple shirt.
Team 1 2 Final
Orlando City SC 2 0 2
Columbus Crew SC 0 0 0
ORL: Kaka (Darwin Ceren) 20’
ORL: Carlos Rivas (Unassisted) 35’
ORL: Cristian Higuita (Yellow Card) 12’
ORL: Seb Hines (Yellow Card) 14’
CLB: Kevan George (Yellow Card) 24’
CLB: Aaron Schoenfeld (Yellow Card) 39’
CLB: Emmanuel Pogatetz (Yellow Card) 53’
Orlando City SC – GK Tally Hall, D Luke Boden, Seb Hines, Sean St. Ledger, Rafael Ramos, M Darwin Ceren, Cristian Higuita, Carlos Rivas (Amobi Okugo 67’), Eric Avila, Kaka (Harrison Heath 86’), Pedro Ribeiro (Danny Mwanga 84’)
Columbus Crew SC – GK Aaron Schoenfeld, D Tyson Wahl, Emanuel Pogatetz, Chad Barson, M Tony Chani (Wil Trap 73’), Kevin George, Kristinn Steindorsson, Chris Klute, Ben Speas (Justin Meram 63’), Adam Bedell (Romain Gall 46’), F Aaron Schoenfeld
Time of Match: 7:30 p.m. ET
June 30, 2014
The Lions’ next match will take place on Saturday, July 4, when the travel west to face Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 10:00 p.m. ET.
Orlando will return home on Saturday, July 11, to face FC Dallas. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.