Orlando City Defeats New York City FC 1-0, Claims First Victory In 2016
By Space Coast Daily // March 19, 2016
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Orlando City SC (1-0-2, 5 points) managed to deliver a full team performance at historic Yankee Stadium to secure the first three points of the season with a 1-0 victory over New York City FC (1-1-1, 4 points) on Friday night.
The Lions pressured early in what would turn out to be a very physical encounter by the two sophomore MLS teams. Orlando’s pressure on NYC’s backline finally resulted in a goal after Rafael Ramos delivered a beautiful cross into the box.
NYCFC goalkeeper Josh Saunders managed to get a hand on it, only to see it headed into the goal by a waiting Cyle Larin. Larin now has four career goals in Yankee Stadium, as well as three goals on the season, which places him tied for first in the league after three weeks.
New York were relentless in their attack, with the first real chance coming in the eighth minute when Mix Diskerud fired a howler of shot saved by Orlando goalkeeper Joe Bendik.
Bendik would deliver a career performance on the night, preserving the clean sheet with six saves in total.
The highlight of the night came in the 60th minute as Diskerud broke free for a one-on-one against Bendik, and the shot was parried away clear of danger.
The Lions continued to create chances in the first half, as Larin collided with Saunders in a 50/50 ball delivered into the penalty area by Adrian Winter. The ball fell to City, but Kevin Molino’s rebound was deflected over the line for a corner kick.
New York pushed forward in search of the equalizer before the end of the half but the Lions’ showed defensive discipline on outstanding play from Tommy Redding, Brek Shea, Seb Hines and Ramos.
The back line flustered the New York attackers, effectively employing the offsides trap and holding striker David Villa to only one shot on the night.
The pace in the second half remained very high, with both teams eager to find the back of the net. In the 51st minute, Antonio Nocerino walk off the field grabbing his leg and was eventually replaced by Servando Carrasco. Four minutes later, Larin was subbed out for Pedro Ribeiro.
The match turned decidedly more physical as both teams were fighting for the chance to remain unbeaten through the third week of the 2016 MLS season.
Orlando almost secured the second goal of the night in the 62nd minute, advancing with a 3-2 advantage against NYCFC. Molino found himself at the mouth of the goal with an opportunity, but his shot was deflected over the net and out of harm’s way.
Despite the constant offensive onslaught by NYCFC, Orlando maintained its composure and, following four minutes of stoppage time, were able to savor victory for the first time at Yankee Stadium and the first time this season.
“I thought our midfield was a lot more combative than they have been in the last couple weeks and I thought we defended the box really well,” Head Coach Adrian Heath said reflecting on the match.
“At times it was numbers – strength in numbers. If you look, three or four different people had really timely blocks. Our two center backs [Redding and Hines], I thought were terrific in defending the goal, Tommy Redding especially.”
“A 19-year-old boy, he had to hang around with David Villa and his movement. I was pleased with some aspects but, I said to the players, we are better than that and we have to be better than that. We will get better,” said Heath.
The Lions will have over two weeks without a match, returning to the Orlando Citrus Bowl on April 3 to host the Portland Timbers.
Tickets to all City home matches are available at OrlandoCitySC.com or by calling 855-ORL-CITY.