Orlando shades New York Red Bulls in 7 Goal Thriller

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Orlando City Soccer and New York Red Bulls served up a seven goal thriller in front of 23,257 fans at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The words “defend” and “Orlando” seem to be  mutually exclusive and in a game that saw the return of former Lion’s Tommy Redding and Aurélien Collin at the heart of the Red Bulls defence, it really wasn’t a surprise that the game turned into a goal feast. The only surprise was the fact that more goals weren’t scored as both teams comically failed to do even the most basic of defensive duties throughout a thoroughly entertaining early afternoon fixture.

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The game kicked off at 1pm, for some unfathomable reason, and the tone was set just seven minutes in as the visitors enjoyed the freedom of Orlando to deliver the first blow. Marc Rzatkowski found the unmarked Alejandro Romero Gamarra just inside the left hand side of the penalty box and he delivered a pin point cross for Florian Valot, again unmarked, to head in at the far post. 1-0 Red Bulls.

Eight minutes later the score was level. Sacha Kljestan, on the left hand side, released the unmarked Justin Meram who got to the byline and pulled back a cross for the unmarked Will Johnson to tap home on the right hand post.

Marking was again at fault in the 24th minute as the visitors recaptured the lead as Valot released Derrick Etienne, who left Orlando’s Lamine Sané trailing in his wake, and he finished neatly with a low shot to the right hand side of the goal.

Two minutes later it was all level again as Dom Dwyer stooped low to turn in Yoshimar Yotún’s corner for his first goal of the season. Three minutes into the second half Dwyer added his second as the Red Bull’s defence fell asleep at the wheel from an Orlando throw in. Both Collin and Redding stood still admiring Mohamed El-Munir’s throw in to the unmarked Dwyer and he thumped home a left footed volley to give the home side its first lead in the game.

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The visitors then got back in the game as Will Johnson gave away an unnecessary free kick just outside his own penalty area on Rzatkowski in the 82nd minute. The midfielder stepped up himself and delivered an excellent cross to the back post and Aaron Long rose superbly to level things up at 3-3.

The Lions then grabbed the victory as Kljestan fed Scott Sutter with an empty field in front of him on the right hand side. Sutter took a touch before rifling a shot that deflected off Josué Colmán, past the stranded Robles and into the net.

After the game Orlando City Head Coach Jason Kreis remarked: “Hard fought win. Really difficult to get that result today. Big, big credit to all the players that participated in that match and put their absolute best foot forward, because I think without 100 percent commitment we don’t walk out of here with all three points. Really pleased from an effort and commitment point of view, no doubt.”

Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch said he could find positives in the loss, especially considering his team had some injuries and had to field some of their younger players in the game.

“When I look at it, there’s some real positives in there and then there’s some things we need to continue to address and get better at,” Marsch said. “Ultimately, the game was the revealer and it helps us identify some of those things and hopefully we can continue to use the games and the experiences to grow certain players within the system so they can get better and better.”

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The real winners on the day were the fans. An enthralling game that apart from the goals saw some dramatic highlights including an immense battle between old rivals Dwyer and Collin. After the game Dwyer said: “Yeah it was great. I’ve got a lot of respect for the guy. He helped me out a lot when I first came to the league and you know he’s a good person, good friend of mine. Always fun to battle against him, you know you’re gonna be a bit sore tomorrow but now it’s fun.”

Full Time : Orlando City 4 New York Red Bulls 3

Lineups/Substitutions:

Orlando City SC – GK Joe Bendik, D Mohamed El-Munir, Amro Tarek (RJ Allen 73’), Lamine Sané, Scott Sutter, M Cam Lindley (Josué Colmán 46’), Yoshimar Yotún, Will Johnson, ⓒ Sacha Kljestan, F Dom Dwyer (Chris Mueller 64’), Justin Meram

Substitutes Not Used: GK Earl Edwards, Jr., M Cristian Higuita, Dillon Powers, Richie Laryea

New York Red Bulls – GK ⓒ Luis Robles, D Connor Lade (Kemar Lawrence 46’), Aurélien Collin (Aaron Long 65’), Tommy Redding, Kyle Duncan, M Vincent Bezecourt, Marc Rzatkowski, Derrick Etienne (Bradley Wright-Phillips 75’), Alejandro Romero Gamarra, Florian Valot, F Carlos Rivas

Substitutes Not Used: GK Ryan Meara, D Tim Parker, M Daniel Royer, Tyler Adams

Attendance: 23,257

 

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