Orlando City punish Portland Timbers with comeback victory

Filed under: Florida News,Orlando City Soccer,Orlando Sport,Sport |

Orlando City MLS Logo

Fortune favored the men in purple as Orlando City struck back from 2-0 down to win a highly charged game 3-2 against Portland Timbers. Three goals in seven incredible minutes turned almost certain defeat into victory for the Lions as Chris Mueller, Sacha Kljestan and Dom Dwyer all found the net to give Orlando a second successive victory, the first time in nearly a year that that has happened.

The reality is that Portland will consider themselves extremely unfortunate not to take something from the game as they cut Orlando open time and time again but simply couldn’t find the killer touch that would have put the game beyond doubt.

Orlando conceded the first goal when left back Mohamed El-Munir brought down Sebastián Blanco inside the penalty area in the 17th minute. Blanco had already been booked in the 8th minute and at first referee Baldomero Toledo issued the Argentinian a second yellow card for simulation but upon video review the decision was reversed and the midfielder scored to the left hand side past the diving Joe Bendik.

Orlando then went 2-0 down in the 59th minute as the Lions failed to defend a Portland free kick. It was a goal that had been coming as Portland had created numerous chances after the half time break hitting both the bar (Blanco) and the post (Diego Valeri) in close succession. Lamine Sané gave away an unnecessary free kick on the right hand side and Bill Tuiloma leapt well from Valeri’s free kick to score his first MLS goal.

At that point it seemed only a matter of time before Portland would add to their score as Orlando looked lack lustre and short of ideas. Orlando Head Coach Jason Kreis then decided to ring the changes as Chris Mueller entered the field in place of Josué Colmán on 67 minutes and Stéfano Pinho came on for Justin Meram in 76th minute.

Four minutes later Orlando were back in the game as Mueller headed home Yoshimar Yotún’s corner for his first MLS goal and then less than 90 seconds later referee Toledo gave the home side a fortuitous penalty for an innocuous challenge by Alvas Powell on Dwyer.  Kljestan stepped up and found the net to square the game 2-2.

Dwyer then sealed the game for Orlando in the 87th minute as he showed both his power and his pace as he received the ball on the right hand side about 25 yards from the Timbers goal. He surged forward, twisting and turning and at one point actually slipped to the floor as he lost his balance before regaining his feet and smashing home an unstoppable shot to send the home fans ecstatic.

It was a great escape for Orlando who, apart from seven minutes, were by far the poorer team. Again defensive frailties should have cost the team but they can look back on the victory as a test of their character and a victory that was most certainly welcome.


Orlando City SC – GK Joe Bendik, D Mohamed El-Munir, ⓒ Jonathan Spector, Lamine Sané, Scott Sutter (RJ Allen 57’), M Yoshimar Yotún, Will Johnson, Sacha Kljestan, Josué Colmán (Chris Mueller 67’), F Dom Dwyer, Justin Meram (Stéfano Pinho 76’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Earl Edwards, Jr., D Amro Tarek, M Cristian Higuita, Dillon Powers

Portland Timbers – GK Jake Gleeson, D Alvas Powell, Larrys Mabiala, Bill Tuiloma, Zarek Valentin, M Diego Chara, Cristhian Paredes (Lawrence Olum 64’), Andy Polo, M ⓒ Diego Valeri, Sebastián Blanco, F Samuel Armenteros (Dairon Asprilla 68’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Jeff Attinella, D Julio Cascante, Marco Farfan, Andrés Flores, F Fanendo Adi

Attendance: 22,337




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