On a clear, sunny afternoon at the Citrus Bowl, Cyle Larin and his teammates took the pitch looking for a strong start to their second MLS season. In front of a crowd of over 60,000 fans, Larin lead a strong and resilient attack by the Lions that resulted in a stunning 2-2 draw, with Larin scoring the first of two goals in the dying seconds of the game.
“We fought all game and made a couple of mistakes, but it was coming,” Larin said after the match. “After I got my first one the team was ready to keep going and we pushed forward and got the second goal.”
Larin scored his goal in the 94th minute, with only seconds left in the match. “It felt nice,” Larin said with a smile. “I was just waiting and working. I was tired and kept getting hit, but kept going.”
In the end, Larin’s teammates delivered the ball down the field right after his goal and midfielder Adrian Winter found the equalizer in the final moments. The ending left players and fans alike shocked. When asked if he had ever seen a finish like this one, Larin shook his head. “No, I haven’t. In front of 60,000 fans, no. It was a moment to remember and it was one of the most important games for us.”
Some have come into the season worried that Larin won’t perform as well as he did last year. Many have thrown around the idea of the “Sophomore Slump,” so it was important for Larin to prove himself today. “It was good that I had plenty of chances today,” Larin said. “It was important to get the first goal then the rest will start to come.”
With a crowd of screaming fans and two equalizing goals in the final minute of the match, Larin’s teammate Tommy Redding compared the game to a FIFA video game. “It seemed like a FIFA game,” Larin said, standing proud. “But we brought it to life today.”