The Orlando City Pro Academy is off to a great start in Brazil.
The U-15/16s defeated the U-17 India national team 1-0 at Atlético Paranaense’s world-class Estádio Atlético Paranaense this week in a four-team tournament with Paranaense and the U-17 Uruguay national team.
India jumped out to a quick start in the first half but Orlando City defended well. The Lions had a great chance in the 12th minute but couldn’t sneak the ball past India’s goalkeeper. City came up with another good opportunity three minutes later.
It didn’t take long into the second half for the Lions to take the lead over the Blue Tigers. Forward Alejandro Pereira caught up to a through ball, drove the box and fired to the back of the net.
Shortly after, the Lions hit the crossbar.
“Really proud of our boys,” Academy Director David Longwell said. “We stuck with it, kept playing our game and their work paid off.”
Meanwhile, Paranaense picked up an impressive 2-1 win over Uruguay. La Celeste opened the scoring in the 17th minute but the Furacão leveled in the 30th. Paranaense pulled ahead in closely contested second half with a goal in the 64th minute and showed strong defensive form to keep their lead.
The tournament is among the first formal exchanges between Orlando City and Atlético Paranaense since the clubs established a formal partnership in November. Lions head coach Jason Kreis visited Paranaense in early November and came back with rave reviews of Atlético’s facilities and players.
Orlando City faces Uruguay on Tuesday at 2:30 pm local time while Paranaense takes on India at 4 pm.