Orlando City comes from behind to record first win over Eastern Conference opposition

Filed under: Florida News,Orlando City Soccer |


Orlando City recorded their first win over Eastern Conference opposition as they came from behind to beat Chicago Fire 3-2 at Toyota Park this evening.

The win was an important victory for Orlando as they once again showed their resilience after twice going behind. The victory enabled the team to extend its unbeaten run to four games and move into the play off places with 17 points from 14 games.

Although Orlando City controlled an overwhelming amount of possession against the Fire (62%-38%), the home side were extremely dangerous on the counter attack, led by strikers David Accam and Kennedy Igboananike and midfielder Harry Shipp.

Chicago scored the first goal of the game in the eighth minute of play as Accam, looking suspiciously to be in an offside position, found Igboananike for a comfortable tap-in from two yards. Accam then should have extended the home sides lead in both the 23rd and 35th minutes as he wasted good opportunities with the goal at his mercy.

Orlando City SC 2 Columbus Crew SC 2, Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida - 30th May 2015 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The missed opportunities would come back to haunt Chicago as Orlando scored in the 40th minute when Darwin Cerén produced Orlando’s best chance of the half, shooting from a half-volley from the edge of the area that forced veteran goalkeeper John Busch to make a fine save. The Lions leveled the game from the ensuing corner-kick when Luke Boden’s (pictured above) corner found Sean St. Ledger who headed towards the target. Pedro Riberio put Brazilian defender Adaílton under pressure and the ball bounced off his leg into the empty net to even the game up.

Half Time: 1-1

City maintained their attacking possession play early into the second half and looked by far the better team. However, as has happened frequently this season, they found themselves down again when a superb counter-attack from Chicago saw Igboananike use his pace down the left side creating the opening for Accam to drive forward. Ignoananike played the ball into Accam and after a neat one-two with Shipp, Accam delivered a neat finish beyond Tally Hall’s desperate dive into the right hand corner of the Orlando net.

Orlando City Soccer 4 LA Galaxy 0, Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida - 17th May 2015 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

In response, Orlando head coach Adrian Heath then made two tactical changes that would change the outcome of the game as first he brought on rookie Cyle Larin (pictured above) in the 66th minute and a few moments later speedy winger Carlos Rivas who replaced the effective Lewis Neal. With the clock running down and just four minutes of normal time to go, Larin then produced a stunning curling strike from around 25 yards that flew past Busch to record his fifth goal in eight starts.

Three minutes later, smelling victory, Kaká fed Rivas down the left-hand-side and his cross for the waiting Larin created the go-ahead goal for the Lions as it deflected off the unfortunate Adaílton for his second own goal of the night.

Chicago made a late push to salvage a point but sound defending from Orlando resulted in an impressive away victory for the Lions.

Orlando City Soccer Club Media Day, Orlando - 23 January 2015 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

“In between the goals, I thought we were far and away the better team in terms of football this evening,” said head coach Adrian Heath. “I feel as though the group is coming together a little bit more, there’s a little bit more camaraderie in the group. It’s a really happy dressing room. I told them ‘Nothing comes easy. Anything that’s worth fighting for is hard.’ They dug in tonight and they were excellent. I thought there were some really good performances.”


Orlando City SC – GK Tally Hall, D Luke Boden, Sean St. Ledger, Aurélien Collin, Rafael Ramos, M Cristian Higuita, Darwin Cerén, Eric Avila, Lewis Neal (Carlos Rivas 75’), Kaká (Amobi Okugo 88’) Pedro Ribeiro (Cyle Larin 66’)

Chicago Fire – GK John Busch, D Eric Gehrig (Quincy Amarikwa 59’), Jeff Larentowicz, Adailton, Lovel Palmer, M David Accam, Matt Polster (Mike Magee 83’), Razvan Cocis, Joevin Jones, F Harry Shipp, Kennedy Igboananike (Matt Watson 76’)

Attendance: 20,124

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