Orlando City 1 Wilmington Hammerheads 1

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Tough weather and tough luck lead to a 1-1 draw in Orlando City’s first ever nationally televised game against the Wilmington Hammerheads.  6,923 fans braved the nearly 30 mile per hour winds to see the third largest crowd of the season, one that surpassed Major League Soccer’s New England/Toronto match on Wednesday night.

Orlando City kicked off the match hesitant in their play due to severe winds but settled after the opening 10 minutes.  The Lions were also playing with an altered line-up as they were missing several key starters due to suspensions and visa issues.  This gave reserves Charlie Campbell, Wes Allen, and Dennis Chin a chance for playing time with the rest of the regular starters.  Allen’s time was unfortunately short-lived as he suffered a leg injury in the 36th minute, opening up an opportunity for fellow reserve defender Kieron Bernard.

The Lions attacked hard but came up short trying to send the ball to Max Griffin and Devorn Jorsling.  The wind continued to cause havoc with City’s play style, knocking the ball around in unpredictable ways.  The two forwards demonstrated strong passion to score, but were continuously shut down by the wind and Wilmington defense.

The Lions appeared to be one touch shy of a goal as the offense became frustrated in their attack. Max Griffin, Devorn Jorsling, Kevin Molino, and Erik Ustruck all took shots on goal that flew just wide or soared barely over the crossbar.  Orlando and Wilmington battled back and forth for the remainder of the half and demonstrated aggressive play that resulted in a collection of fouls for each team.  The half concluded scoreless.

The Lions sprang to life to start the second half and really began to threaten the Hammerhead defense.  Celebration erupted in the 54th minute as Orlando City forward Devorn Jorsling scored his first goal of the regular season (pictured above…click to enlarge).  Jorsling struck a powerful shot from about 25 yards outside the goal, capitalizing on the momentum from his two-goal performance in Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup match.

The Lions continued to ignite in their attack as they gained momentum from Jorsling’s spectacular goal.  Campbell, Yordany Alvarez, and Lawrence Olum controlled the midfield while Griffin and Jorsling worked together with them on the attack. In the 74th minute, Orlando City substituted Max Griffin for Dennis Chin.  Chin’s fresh energy and enthusiasm created a new spark for the Orlando offense.

Unfortunately, the Hammerheads were not settling for a shutout as forward Andriy Budnyy scored a goal in the 84th minute.  Luke Mulholland’s cross was deflected by Lion defender Kieron Bernard and into the air.  Budnyy received the ball in the 18-yard box and had barely enough time to set up for the shot as he blasted the ball through the legs of Orlando City defender Jack Traynor and the diving hands of Miguel Gallardo.  Both sides fought hard for a go-ahead goal, but could not find the final ball.  The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

“I think we played well but we got too comfortable with the lead at the end of the game,” said Charlie Campbell. “We had a couple mental lapses at the end and broke down defensively and I think that’s what cost us the goal and cost us the two points for that game. I’m disappointed that we lost the other point due to mental errors.  There’s always going to be adversity in the season and it’s how you overcome that adversity. It takes a whole team effort.”

Next up for the Lions is the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.  City travels to Charleston to face fellow USL PRO side Charleston Battery.  A win will advance the Lions to the final 16 of the Open Cup.  They will face FC Dallas in the third round.

Team                                                    1st          2nd        Final

Orlando City                                       0              1              1

Wilmington Hammerheads            0              1              1

Scoring Summary

54th Minute – Orlando: Devorn Jorsling

84th Minute – Wilmington: Andriy Budnyy (Luke Mulholland)

Orlando City Line-up

GK: Miguel Gallardo

D: Jack Traynor, Demar Stewart, Wes Allen (36’ – Kieron Bernard), Erik Ustruck

M: Yordany Alvarez, Lawerence Olum, Charlie Campbell, Kevin Molino

F: Devorn Jorsling, Max Griffin (74’ – Dennis Chin)


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