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In its third match in eight days, Orlando City SC pulled off a remarkable second-half comeback to score and earn a point against New York City FC in the dying seconds of the game. Júlio Baptista’s first MLS goal and Kevin Molino’s stoppage time header secured a 2-2 draw and the Lions’ fourth point in two matches at Yankee Stadium this season.
“I’m obviously delighted. I thought we deserved it. I thought it was a really good team performance,” Lions head coach Adrian Heath said. “We knew that they were going to come out firing because of their result last week and they had a couple good looks in the first half but I thought the team worked really, really hard. I was pleased because it’s never easy. We’ve lost five players that would normally start for us and being in the third game in eight days. We’ve taken five points, so I’m delighted.”
New York City opened the scoring against a depleted Orlando, minus five regular first team starters, in the 42nd minute when Frederic Brillant headed in a RJ Allen chip pass at the far post. NYC then added to their lead in the 66th minute when Andrea Pirlo found David Villa in space and he deftly chipped Joe Bendik to find the back of the net.
The home side missed a golden chance to put the game away in the 70th minute when Villa slipped and skied his penalty after the referee harshly adjudged a handball in the box by Seb Hines.
In recent times, Adrian Heath’s substitutions have changed games and today was no exception as the Lions broke through just 13 minutes after the first substitution. In the 72nd minute, Molino made a clever spin to find space to feed Baptista in the box. “The Beast” turned toward the inside and fired a shot that slightly deflected inside the near post to bring the men in purple back into the game.
Orlando turned up the pressure in search of the equalizer and after denying a threatening NYC attack, Carlos Rivas sprinted up the left wing and delivered a superb curling ball to Larin, who nodded back across the area for Molino to head home.
The goal was the Lions’ fifth of the season scored in the 90th minute or later. Orlando City also leads the league with 13 goals scored in the final 30 minutes.
The point was a good return for Orlando who were short several key players, including Darwin Cerén, Cristian Higuita, Rafael Ramos, David Mateos and captain Kaká, who was called up to the Brazilian national team for next month’s Copa América Centenario.
Orlando City returns to the Camping World Stadium after the Copa America Centenario break on Saturday, June 18, to host the San Jose Earthquakes at 7:30 p.m. E.T.
Orlando City SC – GK Joe Bendik, D Luke Boden (Carlos Rivas 71’), Seb Hines, Tommy Redding, Kevin Alston, M Servando Carrasco, Harrison Heath, Brek Shea, Kevin Molino, Adrian Winter (Júlio Baptista 59’), F Cyle Larin
Unused Substitutes: GK Earl Edwards Jr., D Conor Donovan, Devron García, Antonio Nocerino, M Hadji Barry
New York City FC – GK Josh Saunders, D RJ Allen, Jason Hernandez, Frederic Brillant, Ethan White, M Andoni Iraola, Andrea Pirlo, Mix Diskerud (Steven Mendoza 85’), F Thomas McNamara (Frank Lampard 77’), David Villa, Khiry Shelton
Unused Substitutes: GK Eirik Johansen, D Diego Martínez, Jefferson Mena, M Mehdi Ballouchy, Kwadwo Poku