Orlando City Soccer 3 Rochester Rhinos 1

Filed under: Orlando City Soccer |

Earlier this evening, Orlando City SC gained their first win of the 2014 USL PRO regular season with a 3-1 victory over the Rochester Rhinos. The win against the Rhinos continues the Lions’ unbeaten run against Rochester, as City have never lost to the upstate New York based club in three years (7-0-1).

“I’m pleased that we won the game and I’m pleased that we scored three goals, but I think that our performance could have been a bit better,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We had a bit of break when we needed it tonight, unlike last week.”

After only managing two 1-1 draws in their opening matches against Charleston and Pittsburgh, Head Coach Adrian Heath stated before the game that City needed to score early to open the game up and prevent opposing teams from bunkering in.

After just three minutes, the coach got his wish when Trinidad international Kevin Molino (pictured below) put the Lions up 1-0 from a Tyler Turner (pictured above left) cross.

With the early goal secured, the Lions seemed to relax and they were almost made to pay as the Rhinos came close to leveling the game up on three or four occasions. The best chance fell to Minh Vu who came close to capitalizing on a defensive error from Orlando but luckily for the Lions, Vu tapped his strike just wide of the target.

This scare seemed to wake Orlando up and their three attacking midfielders, da Luz, Molino and Ceren started to knock the ball about nicely while the defensive midfielders, Quinn and Alvarez, picked up any loose balls. It seemed a second goal might be on the cards and it came in the 35th minute when Rob Valentino pounced to knock in a Yordany Alvarez cross.

A minute later Corey Hertzog almost made it three when a defensive mistake saw him clean through one on one with the Rochester keeper Luis Soffner. Fortunately for the Rhinos, Soffner pulled off an excellent save from Hertzog’s shot as he made his body as large as possible.

Half Time: Orlando City 2 Rochester Rhinos 0

The second half began with Rochester on the ascendancy and it was no real surprise when they grabbed a goal in the 53rd minute. Rookie Aodhan Quinn attempted to play a back pass to his teammate Brad Rusin but watched on in horror as his backpass ended up splitting the Orlando center-halves, and Rochester midfielder JC Banks was able to collect it and finish neatly past an advancing past Miguel Gallardo.

The next goal was going to be crucial and the Rhinos began to exert some real pressure without really looking threatening. Orlando seemed to be struggling to find an opening and with just one forward up front were finding it difficult to find the killer ball to unlock the visitors defence. In the 72nd minute, Coach Heath made a tactical change and brought on attacking players Adama Mbengue and Dennis Chin to try and liven the game up.

Within four minutes, Heath’s substitution would yield dividends when Chin scored with a tap-in from a defensive mistake just six yards out. The goal marked the first in 2014 for the Lions’ all-time leading scorer.

The game then drifted away as Orlando determined not to make any mistakes and Rochester simply didn’t have the quality to stretch the home side. Overall, it was a scoreline that somewhat flattered the Lions but they’ll be happy to take the 3 points and move on.

Next week, Orlando will host the Charleston Battery at 7.30pm on Saturday, April 12, before venturing on a two-game road trip against F.C. Dallas and OKC Energy.

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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