Orlando City hammer OC Blues to tie club record for unbeaten games

Filed under: Orlando City Soccer |

Kevin Molino - Orlando City Soccer goes close to scoring vs. OC Blues, Orlando, Florida - 11 June 2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

Orlando City SC extended its USL PRO unbeaten streak to 14 matches at ESPN Wide World of Sports tonight with a convincing 4-1 victory over the Orange County Blues. In doing so, they tied the Club’s all-time record for consecutive matches without a loss. The Lions responded to going a goal down in the 37th minute with four quality goals to move nine points clear of LA Galaxy II at the top of the table.

“In the first half, we gave the ball away far too much in the midfield, and we needed to pick up our quality of play,” said Assistant Coach Ian Fuller after the match. “But the guys performed well in the second half, particularly in midfield and the final third.”

Wet conditions, after a torrential downpour that took place prior to kick-off, saw a slow start to the game as both teams took time to adjust. Adama Mbengue went closest in the opening exchanges as his 11th minute effort skipped just past the far-post. A minute later, the Senegalese midfielder was involved again as he played a one-two with Kevin Molino inside the area, only for the Trinidad and Tobago international’s powerful left-foot strike to go agonizingly past the near-post.

Orlando created further half chances as both Corey Hertzog and Molino went close in the 13th and 25th minutes respectively, but Orange County were the first to break the deadlock in the 37th minute, as against the run of play, they broke quickly from a City corner. Josh Ford, in the Blues goal, claimed the ball and released it to Sean Okoli on the half way line. With the Lions defence absent without leave, Okoli carried the ball forward and released a perfect ball into space for Jiovanni Santana to place a neat shot past Miguel Gallardo in the City goal. 1-0 OC Blues.

This was the spark Orlando needed and after a delayed restart from the Blues goal, it was poetic justice that the Lions would score in first half stoppage time. Darwin Ceren found space on the left hand wing and he drove across a superb cross for striker Corey Hertzog (pictured below) to guide home past the desperate advances of OC Blues keeper Josh Ford.

Corey Hertzog scores for Orlando City Soccer vs. OC Blues, Orlando, Florida - 11 June 2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)Corey Hertzog scores for Orlando City Soccer vs. OC Blues, Orlando, Florida - 11 June 2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

Ford had had a somewhat torrid time in the first half and rode his luck somewhat with some indecisive decision making. His luck was to run out though, as just four minutes into the second half Orlando went ahead. Bryan Burke, on the right wing, delivered a well-placed ball to an unmarked Austin da Luz, who headed down and through Ford’s legs (pictured below) to give the Lions the lead.

Goalkeeper Josh Ford (yellow) - OC Blues makes a mistake to allow Orlando City to score, Orlando, Florida - 11 June 2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

The game became something of a procession at this point as OC Blues tried to repeal wave after wave of Lion’s attacks. Da Luz went close again in the 54th minute but guided his header wide of the target and several other attempts from Orlando forwards were either blocked or went slightly wide. A third Orlando goal eventually came in the 78th minute, as an Adama Mbengue corner found Brad Rusin (pictured below) on the back post and he placed a neat header back across goal for his first goal in City colors.

Brad Rusin (3) scores for Orlando City Soccer vs. OC Blues, Orlando, Florida - 11 June 2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

Less than ten minutes later, in the 87th minute, Rusin (pictured below) found the net again as he turned in a Tyler Turner header across the box to make it 4-1. It was a fitting scoreline as the second half had been all Orlando, a fact reiterated as OC Blues didn’t register a single second half shot against Gallardo in the City goal. Things could have been even worse in the final moments as both Mbengue and then substitute Dennis Chin, back from a hamstring injury, both went close to adding to the scoreline.

Brad Rusin - Orlando City Soccer scores vs. OC Blues, Orlando, Florida - 11 June 2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

City’s next two matches will take place outside of league play, as first the Lions travel to Colorado for a fourth round Open Cup match against MLS side Colorado Rapids on June 17, before returning back to Orlando to face Brazilian super-cub, Sao Paulo F.C. on June 20th.

Orlando’s next home match will take place against the LA Galaxy II on June 28. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. EST.

Line Ups

Orlando City SC- GK Miguel Gallardo, D Luke Boden, Tyler Turner, Brad Rusin, Bryan Burke, M Anthony Pulis, Darwin Ceren, Adama Mbengue, Austin da Luz, Kevin Molino, F Corey Hertzog (Dennis Chin 75’)

Orange County Blues- GK Josh Ford, D Seth Moses, Taylor Peay, Joe Sofia, Josh Suggs, M Stephen Okai, Jiovanni Santana, Gabriel Gonzalez, F Sean Okoli (Mershad Momeni 59’), Allan Russell, Christopher Cortez (Aaron Long 68’)

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com


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