FOXBOROUGH – September 5, 2015 – Orlando City SC (7-13-8, 29 points) fell to the New England Revolution (11-9-7, 40 points) 3-0 before 18,854 fans at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, as the Lions played without three key members of the team’s starting 11 - Kaka, Cyle Larin and Darwin Ceren - due to international call-ups.
Despite several noteworthy saves from veteran goalkeeper Tally Hall, Orlando fell behind with three minutes remaining in the first half when Diego Fagundez tucked away Lee Nguyen’s ball into the box to give the Revolution a 1-0 advantage.
In the second half, Hall was equally impressive in goal for the Lions, denying New England’s attack on multiple occasions with several quick-reaction saves from close range.
With the game still within reach in the second half, Head Coach Adrian Heath made two attacking changes to provide fresh legs in the final third, introducing strikers Bryan Rochez and Danny Mwanga for Pedro Ribeiro and Cristian Higuita, respectively.
Moments after being brought into the game, Rochez had a chance to level the scoreline in the 71st minute after intercepting a poor touch from center-back Andrew Farrell but hit his final effort high of the target.
As City committed numbers forward, the Revolution took full advantage on the counter with second-half substitute Juan Agudelo and left-back Chris Tierney both finding the back of the net in the final 10 minutes of the game.
“I thought our shape was okay. We gave up a poor goal for their first one, but I have to tip my hat off to them. They are what we want to be in the future,” said Heath. “I thought they were better than us in every department with pretty much a full strength team. Obviously at this moment in time when we get injuries and international call-ups, it affects the product on the field. I can’t fault the players. I thought they worked really, really hard. We just got beat by a better team this evening.”
9’ Possession was split evenly in the opening portion of the game, as both sides worked themselves into the match.
11’ New England created the game’s first chance when Chris Tierney found Charlie Davies inside the area with a searching ball, but the former U.S. Men’s National Team striker headed his effort wide of the target.
16’ After battling with multiple New England defenders, Ribeiro hit City’s first attempt, striking a right-footed effort from outside the box but Bobby Shuttlesworth was able to make the save.
17’ One minute later, a threatening sequence from the Revolution came close to producing the game’s first goal when midfielder Kelyn Rowe’s well-placed cross found Davies in space. The striker’s powerful header was parried by Tally Hall with a reflex save, landing to Diego Fagundez who rattled his shot off the crossbar.
32’ With less than 15 minutes remaining in the half, the Lions remained compact defensively in behind the ball, maintaining the home side’s eagerness to push forward.
42’ New England opened the scoring with a left-footed finish from Diego Fagundez. The Uruguayan was found by Lee Nguyen with a floated ball behind the defense and flicked a shot past Tally Hall.
45’ Fagundez was close to doubling the lead for the Revs with a shot from the edge of the box that Tally Hall managed to save. Nguyen attempted on the rebound but it went wide.
45’ The referee indicated the end of the first half with New England leading 1-0.
51’ Fagundez cut inside and attempted to curl an effort into the top corner but hit it high of the target. Hall was positioned well and appeared to have it covered though.
55’ Hall came up big once again for the Lions, quickly reacting to use his right foot to tip Tierney’s shot wide after it was deflected by the City defense.
59’ Four minutes later, Hall denied New England of another goal-scoring opportunity, deflecting Davies’ strike at the near post as City’s number one continued to display a top-notch performance.
60’ After going down with an injury, Corey Ashe was brought off for midfielder Eric Avila, sliding Luke Boden back into his primary position at left-back.
67’ Heath made his second change of the night, introducing Bryan Rochez for Pedro Ribeiro to provide fresh legs in the final third.
71’ Moments after being brought on, Rochez came close to scoring his first league goal with the Lions when he intercepted center-back Andrew Farrell’s errant touch just outside the box. The Honduran did well to create space for himself but hit his shot over the crossbar.
78’ City made their final change of the night when Danny Mwanga came on for Higuita as the Lions continued to push for an equalizer.
84’ With the Lions committing numbers forward, Nguyen found Teal Bunbury on the right side of the box, who played it across the six to Juan Agudelo for a tap-in.
86’ Winter fired a powerful effort from close range but Shuttlesworth was able to push it wide.
90 (+4) In the final minute of the game, Nguyen found Tierney with a clever pass in the box, resulting in the final goal of the match.
NE: Diego Fagundez (Lee Nguyen) 42’
NE: Juan Agudelo (Teal Bunbury) 84’
NE: Chris Tierney (Lee Nguyen) 90’
NE: Diego Fagundez (Yellow Card) 6’
ORL: Cristian Higuita (Yellow Card) 36’
Orlando City SC - GK Tally Hall, D Rafael Ramos, David Mateos, Aurelien Collin, Corey Ashe (Eric Avila 60’), M Cristian Higuita (Danny Mwanga 78’), Servando Carrasco, Adrian Winter, Luke Boden, Lewis Neal, F Pedro Ribeiro (Bryan Rochez 67’)
Unused Subs: GK Earl Edwards Jr., D Tommy Redding, M Estrela, Tony Cascio
New England Revolution - GK Bobby Shuttleworth, D Jeremy Hall, Andrew Farrell, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney, M Daigo Kobayashi (Steve Neumann 88’), Scott Caldwell, Kelyn Rowe (Teal Bunbury 77’), Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez, F Charlie Davies (Juan Agudelo 67’)
Unused Subs: GK Brad Knighton, D Kevin Alston, London Woodberry, M Andy Dorman
Time of Match: 7:30 p.m. ET
September 5, 2015
The Lions will return to the Orlando Citrus Bowl on Sunday, September 13, to host Western Conference foes Sporting Kansas City. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET.