Orlando City Loses Their First Game of 2016 Against Philadelphia 2-1, New England Up Next
By Orlando City SC // April 9, 2016
Lions return to Orlando April 17
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – In a highly contested encounter, Orlando City SC (2-1-2, 8 points) suffered its first defeat of the season, falling 2-1 against the Philadelphia Union (3-2-0, 9 points) at Talen Energy Stadium on Friday night.
“I’m bitterly disappointed because I thought we should’ve taken something out of the game with the good opportunities that we had on the break. I thought they played with a lot of intensity, a lot of energy, and we had to weather the storm. I always thought at some stage we were going to get a break in the second half,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath.
“I thought we were very naive in certain parts of our play this evening, and if we want to achieve what we want to achieve this season, we have to be better when we have the opportunities that we had tonight.”
In an end-to-end battle, in which both sides shared the possession and the offensive chances, the Lions created numerous threatening opportunities throughout the night.
However, impressive saves by Union goalkeeper Andre Blake and a late game-winner by Tranquillo Barnetta gave Philadelphia the victory.
The Union initiated a fast start when C.J. Sapong capitalized early and opened the scoring sheet in the second minute of play. City quickly bounced back to control the majority of the possession, and minutes away from the end of the first half, Adrian Winter scored in a combination play with Kevin Molino.
The clever finish was the second for the Swiss winger, who helped win City’s opening match on March 6 with a stoppage time comeback goal.
Following the break, both sides mounted forward aiming for the game-winner, but outstanding efforts by goalkeepers Joe Bendik and Blake maintained the score leveled for most of the game.
In the waning moments of the game, Philadelphia’s second half substitute Barnetta was able to curl a free-kick over Orlando’s wall to provide the game-winning goal for the home team.
After the introduction of debutant Brazilian striker Julio Baptista and winger Carlos Rivas in the final minutes, City came close to find the late equalizer when Winter’s powerful volley was denied by Blake.
The Lions return to the Orlando Citrus Bowl on April 17 to face the New England Revolution.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET.