Orlando and Montreal share the points in entertaining 3-3 draw

Orlando City Soccer 3 Montreal Impact 3, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 17th June 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

A late header in stoppage time from Jonathan Spector earned Orlando City a point at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday night as both sides put on an entertaining game for the sold out crowd of 25,527 fans.

Orlando City Soccer 3 Montreal Impact 3, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 17th June 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The Lions opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Giles Barnes drove in from the left wing and slipped the ball through for Kaká, who raced onto it at the by-line before centering for Matías Pérez García (pictured above) who did well to convert with his outstretched left foot as he fell backwards.

Montreal quickly answered with a goal in the 16th minute as José Aja was dispossessed by Ignacio Piatti on the left flank. Piatti raced into the penalty box and rolled the ball to Blerim Dzemaili who made no mistake from twenty yards.

Orlando City Soccer 3 Montreal Impact 3, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 17th June 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Orlando looked the better team as they knocked the ball around with confidence and they regained the lead in the 23rd minute as Barnes again got down the left and crossed for Garcia to neatly lay off for Will Johnson to rip a first time shot towards goal. Montreal keeper Evan Bush could only push the ball onto his teammate Laurent Ciman on the goal-line and the ball ricocheted into the path of Carlos Rivas who fired home from the edge of the six yard box.

Orlando created several other opportunities in the first half as they dominated possession by 60% and by 14 shots to 2 but they couldn’t find the critical third goal as the game reached half time. They were misses the home team would come to rue.

Half Time: Orlando 2 Montreal 1

The visitors started the second half on the front foot and it was no surprise when they equalized in the 58th minute. The goal started when Hassoun Camara outjumped former Impact teammate Donny Toia from a Joe Bendik goal kick and the ball found Matteo Mancosu. The Italian nodded the ball into the path of Dzemaili who flicked the ball on with one touch into the path of Piatti who fired home between Bendik’s legs.

Worse was to come for Orlando less than a minute later. From the kick off, Kaká received the ball before laying it back to Aja. The defender dithered on the ball and Piatti again took it off him. Teammate Mancosu took a touch before playing it back to Piatti who fired a shot at goal. Bendik managed to get both hands to the ball but he could only parry the ball back into Piatti’s path and the Argentine rolled the ball into the empty net to give the Impact the lead.

Orlando City Soccer 3 Montreal Impact 3, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 17th June 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Orlando then tried to step things up but the visitor remained resolute while wasting as much time as they possibly could whenever the opportunity presented itself. Orlando Head Coach Jason Kreis introduced Tommy Redding for Aja in the 72nd minute and Luis Gil for Johnson in the 88th minute and it was a Gil flick inside the box to Garcia that earned the home side a corner from which they would score in the fourth minute of added time.

Garcia floated over the corner and Spector rose high above anyone else to head home for the dramatic equalizer.

After the game Kreis said “Another night of positives and negatives. Some really big positives with us, how we played in the first 45 minutes, what we were doing with the ball, the number of chances we created. We looked composed on [the ball] and we managed the game well. The negatives are obviously that I felt we gave them all three goals, but then to finish off the game in an extremely positive situation with us reacting well and continuing to work hard and score the equalizer.”

The Lions now embark on a three-game road trip that will see them visit Seattle on Wednesday, June 21, for a 10:30 p.m. ET kickoff. City then visits Chicago on June 24 and Real Salt Lake on June 30 before returning to Orlando City Stadium on July 5 to host Toronto FC.

Lineups/Substitutions:

Orlando City SC – GK Joe Bendik, D Donny Toia, José Aja (Tommy Redding 72’), Jonathan Spector, Scott Sutter, M ⓒ Kaká, Will Johnson (Luis Gil 88’), Cristian Higuita, Matías Pérez García, F Giles Barnes, Carlos Rivas

Substitutes Not Used: GK Josh Saunders, D PC, M Servando Carrasco, Richie Laryea, F Hadji Barry

Montreal Impact – GK Evan Bush, D Daniel Lovitz, Kyle Fisher, Laurent Ciman, Victor Cabrera, Hassoun Camara, M Blerim Dzemaili (Calum Mallace 89’), Marco Donadel, ⓒ Patrice Bernier (Hernán Bernadello 62’), F Ignacio Piatti, Matteo Mancosu (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 72’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Maxime Crepeau, M Andrés Romero, F Dominic Oduro, Michael Salazar

Attendance: 25,527

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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