Orlando City Continues Unbeaten Streak, Defeats Conference Leader D.C. United 1-0
By Space Coast Daily // June 15, 2015
ORLANDO – Orlando City SC (5-5-5, 20 points) defeated Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United (8-5-4, 28 points) 1-0 before 30,054 fans at the Orlando Citrus Bowl on Sunday night, extending the Lions’ unbeaten streak to five consecutive games.
Kaká’s finish in the 28th minute propelled Orlando City to third place in the East, as the team produced one of its strongest results so far.
The goal was also the Brazilian’s seventh of the season, tying him for third among leading goal scorers in Major League Soccer (MLS).
After suffering narrow defeats to United earlier this season, City opened the game full of confidence, displaying its prominent possession-based style of play against the highly defensive-minded side.
Orlando eventually broke down D.C. midway through the first half, stemming from Rafael Ramos and Pedro Ribeiro’s combination.
The young Portuguese defender, who provided an additional attacking option for Orlando all night long, floated a high cross inside the box to Ribeiro who brought it down in traffic before firing on-target.
While attempting to recover the rebounded effort, Ribeiro was brought down in the box, forcing the referee to award the Lions a penalty.
Kaká’s initial effort was blocked by U.S. international Bill Hamid, but the midfielder pounced on the rebound and nodded it into the back of the net.
In the later portion of the second half, United made a concerted effort to push for an equalizer, as head coach Ben Olsen made three substitutions bringing on Luis Silva, Conor Doyle, and Miguel Aguilar.
However, Orlando’s back-four, anchored by Tally Hall, remained sharp to close out the game and preserve the clean-sheet.
“I’m obviously delighted. I’m not sure we would have saw that through about five or six weeks ago,” said head coach Adrian Heath.
“But I think that is a measure of how far we have come as a group. I thought that we really dug in and defended the goal later on. I was very pleased with our first half performance.”
“I thought our ball movement and circulation was excellent. And as I said I’m pleased for the players, pleased for the supporters and I’m pleased to keep this roll going,” said Heath.