Orlando City falls to FC Dallas

Orlando City Soccer 0 FC Dallas 2, Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida - 11th July 2015 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

In an increasingly frustrating match for the Lions, Orlando City SC (6-7-6, 24 points) saw its seven-game MLS home unbeaten streak snapped in a 2-0 loss to FC Dallas (9-5-5, 32 points) on Saturday night before a crowd of 30,513. Orlando City had not lost at the Orlando Citrus Bowl since May 2 in all competitions.

 Orlando City Soccer 0 FC Dallas 2, Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida - 11th July 2015 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

After a slow start, Orlando City looked to threaten in the first half, with a few potent combinations between Pedro Ribeiro and Carlos Rivas in the attacking half creating opportunities for the home side. However, it was Dallas that struck at the end of the first 45’ from the penalty spot to take a 1-0 lead into the locker room.

Coach Adrian Heath made a number of tactical moves heading into the second half, inserting Amobi Okugo for Harrison Heath and moving Carlos Rivas to the left, which resulted in a shift of possession in Orlando City’s favor. Orlando looked to even the score 10 minutes into the second 45 but the apparent goal from Ribeiro was called back for offside. Eight minutes later, a well-timed combination between Castillo and Ulloa found Texeira for a clinical finish to double their lead.

 Orlando City Soccer 0 FC Dallas 2, Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida - 11th July 2015 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Orlando would look to cut the deficit in half late in the match after Ribeiro was brought down in the penalty area by Dallas goalkeeper Kennedy, but Rivas’ attempt went high and wide left of the goal. In the waning minutes of the game, defender Luke Boden received his second yellow of the match, dropping the Lions to 10 men.

 Orlando City Soccer 3 West Bromwich Albion 1, Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida - 15th July 2015 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

“It was a long 90 minutes. We started slowly a little lethargic lacking in energy and we probably got what we deserve, which is nothing,” said head coach Adrian Heath. “It will probably be the easiest three points on the road Dallas will get this season. It is a disappointing night. I feel for our supporters who unfortunately couldn’t get them [the team] going. I couldn’t get them going either, it seemed. A very bad night. And the penalty just about summed the evening up I think.”

First Half:

5’ Dallas threatened City’s goal early in the match when playmaker Mauro Diaz hit a curling free-kick toward the near-post. Fortunately for City, Tally Hall read the effort well and came across to push it wide for a corner.

15’ Orlando came close to responding when Pedro Ribeiro found Carlos Rivas in behind with a delightful ball. Rivas’ final effort rattled off the post, however, the Colombian was ruled offside by the assistant referee.

25’ Midway through the second half, Dallas was winning the possession battle – a rare occurrence for visitors at the Citrus Bowl – as the Lions remained compact and organized defensively.

30’ The Ribeiro-Rivas connection ensued five minutes later when Pedro slipped Rivas in behind, deep into Dallas’ penalty area. Rivas attempted a powerful first-time shot but Matt Hedges was able to deflect it wide.

40’ Sean St. Ledger went down with a shoulder injury five minutes before halftime, resulting in Aurelien Collin being introduced for the first time since June 20.

45’ In the final minute of the half, Orlando were placed in a difficult situation when Castillo was brought down in the box after cutting by two defenders. Midfielder Mauro Diaz tucked away the penalty, despite Tally Hall guessing the right way.

45 (+3) The referee signaled for the end of the first half with Orlando down 1-0

Second Half:

46’ To begin the second half, Heath made several tactical changes, bringing on Amobi Okugo for Harrison Heath and pushing Carlos Rivas to left midfield, as Lewis Neal dropped in the attacking midfield role with Ribeiro as the target striker.

55’ A questionable offside call prevented Orlando from finding the back of the net once again when the flag was raised during Ribeiro’s clinical finish.

63’ Matters became worse for Orlando in the 63rd minute when Castillo and Ulloa combined to find David Texeira inside the area for a comfortable finish to double their lead.

78’ Orlando’s overall play increased in the second half, with Lions taking control of the possession battle as they aimed to fight back into the game.

83’ However, Dallas were content to sit back and invite the pressure from City as they maintained the lead with seven minutes remaining.

88’ Orlando’s pressure would eventually create an issue for the Dallas backline when Ribeiro was brought down in the box by goalkeeper Dan Kennedy while running on to Mwanga’s through ball.

89’ Unfortunately for the Lions, Rivas’ effort from 12 yards away went over the crossbar.

90’ With the match winding down, Orlando would suffer one final blow when Boden received a second yellow, reducing City to 10 men moments before the final whistle.

Orlando City SC – GK Tally Hall, D Luke Boden, Seb Hines, Sean St. Ledger (Aurelien Collin), Rafael Ramos, M Cristian Higuita, Harrison Heath (Amobi Okugo 46’), Lewis Neal, Eric Avila (Danny Mwanga 70’), Pedro Ribeiro, F Carlos Rivas

FC Dallas  – GK Dan Kennedy, D Atiba Harris, Matt Hedges, Zach Loyd, M Kellyn Acosta, Michael Barrios (Rolando Escobar 76’), Fabian Castillo, Ryan Hollingshead, Victor Ulloa (Michel 90’), F Mauro Diaz, David Texeira (Alex Zendejas 82’)

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com


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