Orlando City falls in MLS Eastern Conference Semi-Final

Orlando City’s season came to an end on Sunday with a 3-1 home loss to New England Revolution in the MLS Eastern Conference semi-final.

The game started badly for the Lions’ as New England, just like in their Round One win over the Philadelphia Union, raced into a 2-0 lead in the opening 30 minutes.First Tajon Buchanan was tripped in the penalty area by Oriol Rosell and Carles Gil converted the spot kick as he fired past Orlando keeper Brian Rowe.

The second arrived in the 25th minute as the Revolution sprang on a counter attack in the 25th minute. Gil and Buchanan combined on the right flank before the Canadian youngster crossed for Adam Buksa’s run at the near post. New England’s No. 9 hit the woodwork, only for Gustavo Bou to follow up and establish the 2-0 lead.

Orlando got back in the game  in the 33rd minute when Junior Urso made it 2-1 for the hosts as New England failed to clear a Daryl Dike effort, and the ball bounced to the Brazilian midfielder for a right-footed shot that deflected past two defenders.

Orlando’s comeback hopes were dented in the 60th minute when Mauricio Pereyra was shown a straight red card for a diabolical studs-up lunging challenge into the back of Matt Polster’s calf.

Down to ten men, Orlando received a lifeline to level the match in the 74th minute when Polster took down Daryl Dike on the right side of the penalty box. Nani nervously stepped up for the penalty kick after scoring in the game against New York City in regulation but missing in the penalty shoot out last week. The Lions’ captain telegraphed his attempt and Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner made a fine save to his right to preserve the 2-1 lead.

Bou then sealed the 3-1 result in the 86th minute after Gil slipped through his fellow Designated Player. The Argentine forward made no mistake, sliding a shot under Rowe as Orlando’s goalkeeper rushed out to confront the opportunity.

After the game a disappointed Oscar Pareja – Orlando Head Coach said: “I think the boys have done a tremendous job during the season just putting the Club and the team and we are in this stage where we were close to advance, being recognized during the year, having the opportunity to compete all year and be protagonists as we asked them all the time. Obviously at this moment there is a lot of pain and there is a lot of frustration that we have been carrying in the last 10 days probably with things that happened and we could not apparently flush them off. We’re proud of them. I’m backing them up all the time because I know how hard they worked for this objective and now we need to grow. Certainly this will help us for sure.”


Orlando City SC – GK Brian Rowe; D Kamal Miller, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, Kyle Smith (Benji Michel 78’); M Chris Mueller (Tesho Akindele 78’), Uri Rosell (Andrés Perea 66’), Júnior Urso (Robinho 88’), Mauricio Pereyra; F Nani ©, Daryl Dike

Substitutes Not Used: GK Mason Stajduhar; D Alex De John, Rodrigo Schlegel; M Joey DeZart; F Alexander Alvarado
New England Revolution – GK Matt Turner; D DeJuan Jones, Henry Kessler, Andrew Farrell, Tajon Buchanan (Brandon Bye 67’); M Scott Caldwell (Tommy McNamara 90’), Matthew Polster (Lee Nguyen 78’), Teal Bunbury (Kelyn Rowe 67’), Gustavo Bou, Carles Gil ©; F Adam Buksa (Michael Mancienne 90’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Brad Knighton; F Kekuta Manneh, Justin Rennicks


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