Orlando City defeats Colorado 2-0 to extend winning run

Filed under: Florida News,Orlando City Soccer,Orlando News,Orlando Sport,Sport |

Orlando City Soccer 2 Colorado Rapids 0, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 29th April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Orlando City SC (6-1-0, 18 points) took a deserved victory over Colorado Rapids (1-5-1, 4 points) with two goals from second half substitutes Carlos Rivas and Kaká to extend their winning run at home to five games. The Lions have also extended their lead at the top of the Eastern Conference by five points.

On a blistering hot Saturday afternoon, Orlando were the better team for much of the game They dominated possession (55%) but couldn’t find the cutting edge until the double introduction of Rivas and Kaká in the 60th minute.

“We’ve got a very happy locker room and a happy coaching staff. Everybody feels really good about where we sit right now. From my point of view it’s great to talk about the wins but I prefer to talk about the performance at the moment because I feel this was a game where we improved,” Lions Head Coach Jason Kreis said. “It was a difficult game with the conditions and the heat and it took us a while to get there. But at the end of the day, we’re playing some pretty good soccer and creating some good chances and it’s exciting to be a part of at the moment.”

Orlando City Soccer 2 Colorado Rapids 0, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 29th April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Carlos Rivas scored his long awaited first goal of the season with a sensational left foot strike from around 25 yards that left Rapids keeper Zac MacMath grasping for air in the 70th minute . Collecting a pass from fellow Colombian Cristian Higuita, Rivas took a touch, turned and launched a rocket into the right hand side netting to give Orlando the lead.

Orlando City Soccer 2 Colorado Rapids 0, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 29th April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

In the 90th minute it was Kaká’s turn to open his Orlando City Stadium scoring account. Will Johnson, who made his 200th career MLS start and began the match with the captain’s armband gave it to Kaká when he entered, leaped into the air to block an attempted Rapids clearance to keep the attack alive. The ball bounced perfectly into the box for Cyle Larin who managed to get a shot away despite being heavily marked only o see it hit the post. The ball bounced right in front of the empty net and Kaká had a simple tap in before celebrating with the fanatical home supporters.

“Obviously really pleased with the performance,” Kreis added. “Both [Kaká] and Carlos [Rivas] came in and the game changed for us in a very positive direction. Pleased for both those guys’ contributions, pleased for the work they put in, pleased that [Kaká] gets to come back after he’s worked so incredibly hard to get himself fit again and make such a major statement. Coming into this game I think we’re a team that’s doing well and improving and to add a player like [Kaká] at the moment is going from strength to strength.”

Orlando City Soccer 2 Colorado Rapids 0, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 29th April 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

After the game Kaká said:  “I cannot put into words what I am feeling. The emotion to be back, to play, to score, and win another game at home. The feeling when I came on the field, with all the supporters cheering and clapping, it was unbelievable. Thank you for today, and making this day so special.”

The Lions face a quick turnaround when they head to Canada to face Toronto FC on Wednesday, May 3. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at BMO Field. City then heads to Houston to take on the Dynamo on Saturday before returning to Orlando City Stadium on Saturday, May 13 to host Sporting Kansas City at 7 p.m. ET.

Lineups/Substitutions:

Orlando City SC – GK Joe Bendik, D Donny Toia, Jonathan Spector, Tommy Redding, Scott Sutter, M Antonio Nocerino, Cristian Higuita (Luis Gil 85’), Ⓒ Will Johnson, Matías Pérez García (Kaká 60’), F Cyle Larin, Giles Barnes (Carlos Rivas 59’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Josh Saunders, D PC, José Aja, M Servando Carrasco

Colorado Rapids – GK Zac MacMath, D Eric Miller, Bobby Burling, Jared Watts, Mekeil Williams, M Michael Azira, Dillon Powers, Marlon Hairston (Dillon Serna 75’), Mohammed Saeid, Kevin Doyle (Shkelzen Gashi 79’), F Alan Gordon (Dominique Badji 58’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK John Berner, D Mike da Fonte, M Sam Hamilton

Attendance: 25,527

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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