ORLANDO, FLA. – July 18, 2015 – After being reduced to 10 men late in the first half Orlando City SC (6-7-6, 24 points) fell to the New York Red Bulls (8-6-5, 29 points) 2-0 before 33,518 at the Orlando Citrus Bowl - the third highest attended home game for the Lions this season.
Led by Kaka, Orlando City got off to a strong start in the game, creating numerous close chances to put the second place side on the back foot. However, the Lions would fall behind in the 21st minute after an incredible individual effort from Sacha Klejstan to curl the ball into the top corner.
The game became increasingly difficult for City in the 12 minutes later when Cyle Larin was controversially sent off for a challenge on Klejstan in midfield.
Orlando were aggressive in their efforts to push for an equalizer in the second half, whipping several dangerous crosses into the box to force nervous moments for New York goalkeeper Luis Robles and the back four. With City committing multiple players in the final third, the Red Bulls were able to double their lead in the final minute of the game - resulting in a 2-0 final score.
The loss signifies the first time Orlando City has lost back-to-back games at home all season.
“I am really proud of the players. I thought their attitude was absolutely magnificent,” said head coach Adrian Heath. “The fact that all evening, with 10 men, they were the dominant team on the field. But their desire to get something out of the game was incredible. They were fantastic. And if we keep playing like that, we are going to win more than we lose. I guarantee you! 14 games left, and we are going to give it everything. This group is going to be fine.”
1’ Kaka opened the game with a chance similar to the goal he scored against West Brom on Wednesday, carrying the ball down the pitch before hitting an effort from the edge of the area just wide.
5’ Bradley Wright-Phillips countered Kaka’s effort four minutes later with a strong header on the back post. However, a finger-tip save prevented the ball from finding its way into the back of the net.
15’ With the Lions beginning to find their stride, good build up play from Rafael Ramos and Kaka created a prime opportunity for Carlos Rivas, whose low effort skimmed just wide of the post.
21’ However, the Red Bulls would find the back of the net first after an incredible individual effort from Sacha Klejstan, who curled a strike into the top corner.
26’ The chances continued for Orlando, nevertheless, when Rivas hit a powerful free-kick from distance that created a nervous moment for experienced goalkeeper, Luis Robles.
33’ Matters became worse for the Lions shortly before halftime when Cyle Larin was controversially sent off, reducing Orlando to 10 men.
43’ City’s desire to push forward didn’t waver though, with the Lions creating multiple dangerous chances in the final moments before halftime.
45 (+3) At the end of the first half, Orlando headed into the locker rooms down 1-0.
54’ Rivas opened the first half with another dangerous free-kick that zipped through the box without being touched, nearly finding an unmarked Sean St. Ledger on the back post.
62’ Less than 10 minutes later, Rivas set up Kaka with a ball into the six-yard box but the Brazilian’s effort went over the bar after receiving a strong challenge from Damien Perrinelle.
74’ Head Coach Adrian Heath was asked to leave the field by the referee with less than twenty minutes remaining.
76’ Despite being 10 men down, Orlando held the better chances in the second half, stemming from dangerous crosses being whipped into the box.
77’ Bryan Rochez was introduced for Lewis Neal, providing the Lions with more attacking options in the final third.
87’ With three minutes remaining in the game, breaking down the Red Bulls became increasingly difficult as New York remained compact and organized in behind the ball.
90’ With the Lions committing numbers forward, New York found the back of the net in the waning moments when Mike Grella drove a low effort into the bottom corner.
NY: Sacha Klejstan (Unassisted) 21’
NY: Mike Grella (Unassisted) 90’
ORL: Cyle Larin (Red Card) 33’
NY: Anatole Abang (Yellow Card) 59’
ORL: Cristian Higuita (Yellow Card) 65’
Orlando City SC – GK Tally Hall, D Corey Ashe (Pedro Ribeiro 88’), Sean St. Ledger, Aurelien Collin, Rafael Ramos, M Cristian Higuita, Darwin Ceren, Lewis Neal (Bryan Rochez 77’), Carlos Rivas, Kaka, F Cyle Larin
New York Red Bulls – GK Luis Robles, D Connor Lade, Matt Miazga, Damien Perrinelle, Anthony Wallace, M Lloyd Sam (Anatole Abang 57’), Sacha Klejstan (Karl Ouimette 80’), Dax McCarty, Felipe Martins, F Mike Grella, Bradley Wright-Phillips (Sal Zizzo 69’)
Substitutes not used:
ORL: Earl Edwards, Seb HInes, Amobi Okugo, Tyler Turner, Eric Avila
NY: Kyle Reynish, Shawn McLaws, Manolo Sanchez
Time of Match: 7:30 p.m. ET
July 18, 2015
Orlando City’s next match will take place on Wednesday, July 22, when the Lions travel to face Chicago Fire in the U.S. Open Cup at Toyota Stadium. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.