Orlando City 1 Bolton Wanderers 3

Filed under: Orlando City Soccer |

Orlando City and 6,932 fans welcomed  English Premier League Bolton Wanderers to the Florida Citrus Bowl last night.  It was the first match of City’s Premier League Challenge and although The Lions fought valiantly they ultimately fell 3-1.

Bolton started out the match with attacking intent after their previous 1-0 loss to FC Tampa Bay. The first real chance for Wanderers came in the 15th minute as Bolton opened the Orlando City only for  midfielder Chung Young Lee to chip his shot over Orlando goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo and the crossbar. It was a lucky escape but short-lived as Bolton scored in the 18th minute as Martin Petrov crossed over to an unmarked Kevin Davies who headed in for Bolton’s first during their American road trip.

Orlando came back and in the 28th minute, new Orlando City forward Matt Luzunaris received a pass from Jamie Watson that put him in behind the Bolton defense. A neat finish for his second goal in as many days evened up the match.

Bolton didn’t wait long to strike again though, as a 37th minute Lee corner was spilled by Gallardo to an unmarked Darren Pratley and he restored Bolton’s lead. Bolton then added a third two minutes later as a defence splitting ball found it’s way to Petrov and he gave Gallardo no chance with a superb finish to make it 3-1.

Half time came and it looked as though Orlando would struggle to keep the scoreline respectable in the second half against a strong Bolton side.  To their credit, they pegged Bolton back into their own half with some neat crisp football and conjured up a couple of chances but were unable to convert those opportunities into goals. Max Griffin and Kevin Molino both had shots that missed the left hand post and then in the 73rd minute Molino put the ball in the net only for it to be ruled out for offside.

Owen Coyle

Both defenses held tight and the game ended 3-1 in favor of Bolton. Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath commented on the friendly and the experience gained from playing against English Premier League opposition.

“It was a great experience for our players. The result did not come out in our favor, but this was a chance for our younger players to see what the top level of competition is like. I am very pleased with tonight.”

OrlandoCity’s next international friendly is on Saturday, July 23rd against Newcastle United! Tickets are available starting at just $25. Be sure to call our ticket office at 855-ORL-CITY (855-643-2489) to secure your seat today!

Scoring Summary

18th Minute – Bolton: Kevin Davies (Martin Petrov)

28th Minute – Orlando: Matt Luzunaris

36th Minute – Bolton: Darren Pratley

39th Minute – Bolton: Martin Petrov

Orlando City Line-up

GK: Miguel Gallardo (46’ – Sean Kelley)

D: Mechack Jerome, Rob Valentino, Kieron Bernard (81’ – Wes Allen), Jack Traynor (71’ – Adama Mbengue)

M: Kevin Molino, Yordany Alvarez (46’ – Justin Fojo), Luke Boden (71’ – Jamei Mugrew), Lewis Neal

F: Matt Luzunaris (46’ – Max Griffin (81’ – Dennis Chin)), Jamie Watson (46’ – Devorn Jorsling)

More match photos here.

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