Orlando City Wins 2013 USL PRO Championship

Filed under: Orlando City Soccer,Sport |

In an incredible game, before a record 20,886 fans, Orlando City Soccer captured the 2013 USL PRO Championship title last night.  Forward Dom Dwyer notched a single game club-record with a four goal haul, Dennis Chin grabbed two and Adama Mbengue scored the other as their team went goal crazy against the Charlotte Eagles. Make no mistake though, this was no push over as the Eagles led twice on the night and gave Orlando’s fans plenty to worry about until the latter stages of the game.

It was the Eagles who struck first in the 20th minute with Stephen Okai heading in a corner to shock the crowd.  Fifteen minutes later it was all square as Dwyer found space inside the box and lashed home to make it 1-1 in the 35th minute. Six minutes later Dwyer notched his and Orlando’s second in the 41st minute with the assist this time coming from Defender Erik Ustruck. After finding space, Ustruck found Dwyer on the near-post- charging past three defenders to glance a neat header home.

Charlotte immediately responded and just two minutes later the game was all level again as Eagles Forward Christian Ramirez equalized after a quick through ball was played across the 6-yard box. Half time with all to play for… 2-2.

The second half began and the Eagles took control of the game and deservedly found a third goal as Ramirez found the net to put Charlotte 3-2 up in the 58th minute.

This sparked the Orlando Lions back into action and just two minutes later Mbengue was taken down inside the penalty area by Charlotte’s Harding. Dwyer stepped up and converted for his hat-trick and to tie the game up 3-3.

Dwyer continued his scoring in the 69th minute, with Anthony Pulis making the assist to again give the Lions the advantage. Pulis whipped in a corner and found his fellow English native to give Orlando a 4-3 lead.

A minute later the best goal of the evening arrived as Dennis Chin turned and hammered home a loose ball for the fifth of the night.  5-3.

Adama Mbengue then added Orlando’s sixth with a neat finish in the 85th minute and the game looked all over. Charlotte weren’t done though and Christian Meza pulled the Eagles back within two goals in the 88th minute to make it 6-4. Charlotte had no choice but to push forward and that left the door open as Chin raced through a depleted defence to notch his brace and Orlando’s 7th goal with a wonderfully placed shot that found the corner of the net in the final minute.  It was a fitting end to a hugely entertaining game.

“To play in front of more than 20,000 tonight was amazing,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “It’s a little bit surreal because I’ve never been involved in a game like that in my life (scoring 7 goals).“

The attendance shattered the club’s former mark of 11,220 set in the 2011 USL PRO Championship Game by more than 9,800 fans. The attendance also set a new USL PRO record and is an all-time record for the club and USL PRO.

More photos from the game at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com and here’s some video…

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