Orlando City Loses Shootout On Road Against New York City 5-3
By Orlando City SC // July 26, 2015
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Despite a hat-trick from rookie forward Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC (6-9-6, 24 points) fell to New York City FC (6-9-6, 24 points) 5-3 in a highly entertaining game that included eight goals before 32,041 fans at Yankee Stadium.
The match marked the first time in MLS history that three FIFA World Cup winners played in the same game, as Italian great Andrea Pirlo made his league debut.
Led by assistant coach Mark Watson, who was at the helm due to Adrian Heath’s suspension, Orlando City opened the game with a 3-4-3 formation, employing three center-backs to provide coverage for Spanish National Team’s all-time leading scorer, David Villa.
For the majority of the first half, Orlando’s defense managed to keep Villa relatively quiet, however the forward was able to jump on the scoresheet in the final minute of the half, scoring a quality finish just inside the box.
Larin matched Villa’s effort with a goal very similar to the Spaniard’s, battling one-on-one with Jefferson Mena before calmly tucking the ball away at the near-post.
With a New York goal from Javier Calle and the introduction of Pirlo five minutes later, an uphill battle seemed to be on the horizon for Orlando, however, Larin continued to guide City back into the game, slotting away Rivas’ ball into the box in the 61st minute.
The end-to-end action continued in the 66th minute when Villa and McNamara scored two goals in a four-minute span. Nevertheless, Larin reduced the deficit in the 84th minute, blasting a big time strike into the top corner for his first professional hat-trick, leaving goalkeeper Josh Saunders standing still.
In the final minute of the game, Kaka almost recreated his free-kick magic from the first meeting between both teams on March 8, hitting a set-piece from outside the box that rattled off the post.
With Orlando pushing numerous players forward to search for the equalizer, New York ventured on the counter with Mix Diskerud scoring the final goal for the home side.
“It’s obviously disappointing. We had a chance to make it 4-4 in the 93rd minute. So to come off losing the game 5-3 is disappointing,” said Watson.
“Defensively, we weren’t quite good enough, conceding five goals, but I think the fight back on a couple of occasions was good from our guys, and that’s what we’ll take out of the game.”