Orlando City loses to DC United in final minute of game

Filed under: Florida News,Orlando City Soccer |

Orlando City 0 DC United 1 - 3rd April 2015 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

For the second consecutive home match, Orlando City Soccer conceded a last minute goal to lose 1-0 at the Orlando Citrus Bowl.

The key moment of the match came just as the game entered injury time when Seb Hines needlessly upended D.C. substitute Luis Silva on the edge of the penalty box. Silva then stepped up to take a bending 25-yard free kick that divided the Lions wall and not even the right handed glove of Donovan Ricketts could prevent the ball ending up in the net for a sickening last minute winner for the visitors.

An impressive 32,822 fans turned out for the Good Friday fixture and they saw an entertaining match that simply lacked goals to complete the drama. Both teams created a number of threatening chances but it seemed that the game was heading for a 0-0 draw before the dramatic climax to the game.

The first chance came in the 16th minute after a tepid opening to the game. Pedro Ribeiro held up the ball well in the box and forced a corner. On the ensuing set-piece, Kaká and Brek Shea combined for a short-corner, leading to a whipped ball into the box from the left-back to Amobi Okugo whose header came within inches of finding the back of the net.

Orlando City 0 DC United 1 - 3rd April 2015 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Orlando then began to find some momentum as Pedro Ribeiro (pictured above) broke away in the 19th minute on a menacing run towards goal. Sadly, the young forward then went down with what looked like a hamstring injury which then gave 2015 MLS SuperDraft first overall pick Cyle Larin (pictured below) the chance to show what he could do.

Orlando City 0 DC United 1 - 3rd April 2015 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The tempo went up as the substitute came on and made an immediate impact, surging in behind for a clear chance on goal. Unfortunately, the rookie, who was making his second professional MLS appearance, had his final goal bound effort deflected wide.

The 24th minute arrived and Larin continued to cause problems for the D.C. defense as he forced another corner for City. Aurélien Collin was left un-marked on the resulting corner kick but his strong header went just high of the target.

Orlando City 0 DC United 1 - 3rd April 2015 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

City’s most dangerous opportunity of the first 45 came in the 30th minute when Shea drove a ball into the box that found Kevin Molino, after defender Taylor Kemp missed his clearance. The Trinidad and Tobago international took advantage of the missed clearance but rifled a strong shot that rattled off the upright.

Orlando City 0 DC United 1 - 3rd April 2015 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Two minutes later, Molino clipped the ball over the back line to Rafael Ramos (pictured above), who charged at goal for one-on-one with Bill Hamid in the DC goal. With a tough angle at the near-post and defenders converging on him from all angles, the young Portuguese right-back’s effort was well saved by the goalkeeper.

As the match approached halftime, the visitors made an attempt to fight back into the game when Taylor Kemp broke free down the left side and drove a ball to the near-post toward veteran striker Chris Pontius. City’s defense were positioned well though, and Collin and Hines were able to disrupt play enough to protect goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.

Orlando City 0 DC United 1 - 3rd April 2015 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Orlando countered when Kaká (pictured above) displayed his brilliance in the midfield, as he burst past several defenders to play a neat through-ball to Molino. The speedy winger charged at Hamid, but the keeper made another world-class save to keep the scoreline level.

The first half action wasn’t quite complete yet though as Molino found Larin with a searching ball into the box. The 19-year-old connected well with Molino’s cross for a header, but Hamid was able to get low quickly and make the save.

Half Time : 0-0

The second half carried on from where the first half left off as four minutes after the break Brek Shea hit a threatening cross in the box toward Larin. The striker dummied Shea’s ball, leaving it for Molino who had his strike cleared away by the United defense.

D.C. then had a spell of possession that lead to a golden opportunity in the 55th minute for defender Sean Franklin, who really should have done better than blast an opening chance high and wide from just inside the box.

In the 67th minute the clearest chance of the game arrived for D.C. as Brek Shea and Donovan Ricketts produced two athletic saves to keep the score level when it appeared D.C. was destined to find the back of the net. Conor Doyle broke through the Orlando defense, cutting back inside for a chance on goal. Doyle’s initial effort was well-saved by Ricketts, and Shea pulled off an astonishing acrobatic goal-line clearance to prevent Pontius’ follow-up shot from giving the visitors the lead.

Orlando City 0 DC United 1 - 3rd April 2015 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The next chance came ten minutes later as Kaká cut inside to hit a left-footed shot wide of the target. A minute later Orlando substitute Carlos Rivas turned and hit a strong low effort from distance, but Hamid, once again, was able to parry it wide for a corner.

Orlando City 0 DC United 1 - 3rd April 2015 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Orlando then piled on the pressure and on the 80th minute Rivas produced City’s best chance of the second half when the Colombian was played into space by Molino who ran at D.C.’s defense with pace. Rivas lined up another powerful attempt, but disappointingly pulled it wide of the far-post.

The Lions then forced another corner four minutes later but Okugo back-post header went over the bar.

Orlando City 0 DC United 1 - 3rd April 2015 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The final action of the game was the decisive moment and while much will be made of the lost opportunities in front of goal, Orlando will reflect on the two needless tackles around the edge of their 18 yard box that have cost them their last two homes games. Vancouver were the beneficiaries last time round and this time the men from Washington were happy to walk away with the spoils.

“It’s not very often you create as many chances as we have to not score a goal and get dogged again on a set piece. It’s not an easy night,” said head coach Adrian Heath. ” I feel for the players, the players have done everything they can to win a game of football. I thought they were terrific in a lot of aspects of play. But it’s the oldest saying in football; ‘Goals change games’ and we didn’t score when we had really good opportunities at really important times.”

Full Time:

Orlando 0 D.C. United 1


Orlando City SC – GK Donovan Ricketts, D Brek Shea, Aurélien Collin, Seb Hines, Rafael Ramos (Bryan Róchez 93′), M Amobi Okugo, Darwin Cerén, Eric Avila (Carlos Rivas 71′), Kevin Molino, Kaká F Pedro Ribeiro (Cyle Larin 21′)

D.C. United – GK Bill Hamid, D Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, Kofi Opare, Taylor Kemp, M Davy Arnaud, Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon (Michael Farfan 46′), Chris Rolfe (Luis Silva 76′), F Jairo Arrieta (Conor Doyle 53′), Chris Pontius

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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