Orlando City stays in play off race with first ever victory over FC Dallas

Orlando City SC picked up a vital win on Saturday night, defeating Western Conference side FC Dallas 2-0 at Exploria Stadium to stay in contention for an end of season play off spot. The win capped off a busy week for the Lions who hosted a sold out 2019 MLS All-Star Game just days before on the same field.

Tesho Akindele (pictured above) opened the scoring in the match early on, scoring his eighth of the season against his former team in the 13th minute after some great work by Ruan. The 24 year old Brazilian full back received the ball just inside the Dallas half and he went on a charging run down the line before cutting inside and laying a perfect ball into the path of Akindele who applied a low finish to the right hand side of the net.

It was just the start the Lions needed as FC Dallas would then go onto control the ball having 65% of the possession. Unfortunately for them they couldn’t make any of it pay as their attack was blunted time and time again by Orlando’s well marshaled defence.

Carlos Ascues (pictured above) put things away two minutes into added time in the second half for his first MLS career goal. Will Johnson found space to lay a ball down the left hand side to Nani and the Portuguese international crossed the ball low to Ascues who flicked the ball to Akindele behind him. Akindele then laid the ball back to Sacha Kljestan who dragged the ball back behind him in one touch to create space for Ascues to fire home from a well worked move.

The win gives the Lions momentum heading into their next match, as they welcome rival Atlanta United on Tuesday evening for a historic Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal.

Head Coach James O’Connor:
“Obviously very pleased with the win. I thought the mentality that the players showed was excellent and, as I just said, I think there was some outstanding individual performances. I think the effort from the guys to defend and then you look at – we’ve had some decent chances – we managed to take them at the end there. I think overall when you look at the commitment to defending it was excellent.”

Lineups/Substitutions:

Orlando City SC – GK Brian Rowe; D João Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Lamine Sané, Ruan; M Will Johnson (Kyle Smith 90+3’), Carlos Ascues, Sebastián Méndez; F Tesho Akindele ©, Dom Dwyer (Nani 72’), Chris Mueller (Sacha Kljestan 54’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Adam Grinwis; D Kamal Miller; M Dillon Powers; F Robinho

FC Dallas – GK Jesse Gonzalez; D Ryan Hollingshead, Reto Ziegler ©, Matt Hedges, Bressan (Bryan Reynolds 85’); M Jacori Hayes, Paxton Pomykal, Brandon Servania (Dominique Badji 46’); F Edwin Gyasi (Michael Barrios 30’), Jesús Ferreira, Santiago Mosquera

Substitutes Not Used: GK Jimmy Maurer; D John Nelson; M Thomas Roberts, Edwin Cerrillo
Attendance: 22,479

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

 

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