HIGHLIGHTS: Orlando City Earns Back-to-Back Wins At Home After Defeating Philadelphia Union 2-1

By  //  March 19, 2017

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Orlando City SC moves to 2-0-0

ABOVE VIDEO: Cyle Larin notched a brace and Carlos Rivas earned his third assist of the season and made his 50th career MLS appearance.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – In its second match of the season, Orlando City SC (2-0-0, 6 points) rode opportunistic attacking and stout defending to defeat the Philadelphia Union (0-1-2, 2 points) 2-1 Saturday in front of another sellout crowd at Orlando City Stadium.

Cyle Larin notched a brace and Carlos Rivas earned his third assist of the season and made his 50th career MLS appearance.

“I really thought everyone’s effort was spectacular. I thought it was another really strong performance defensively, really from the entire group,” Lions Head Coach Jason Kreis said.

“But from the back four, when you look at each individual player and how many important plays they made, headers they made, tackles they won in the box, being in the right place at the right time I’d say all four of those guys had big, big nights for us. Credit to the guys, they took it on.”

The Lions got on the board in the 39th minute when Rivas, while fighting off two defenders, drove a low cross to Larin inside the six-yard box. The Canadian slammed home his second goal of the season.

ABOVE VIDEO: The Lions got on the board in the 39th minute when Rivas, while fighting off two defenders, drove a low cross to Larin inside the six-yard box. The Canadian slammed home his second goal of the season.

City’s back line, unchanged from its clean sheet victory over New York City on Opening Day, held strong throughout the match. José Aja was physical yet disciplined against Union attackers CJ Sapong and Chris Pontius. He showed continued chemistry with fellow center back Jonathan Spector as they forced Philadelphia into three offsides.

Philadelphia broke through, though, in the 52nd minute when Alejandro Bedoya found CJ Sapong for a header from close range.

Pushed on by the 25,527 purple clad supporters in attendance, the Lions fought to maintain their perfect home record. Rivas showed outstanding drive and hustle, making countless runs onto long balls and dribbling at defenders up both wings. In the 73rd minute, the 22-year-old, making his fourth consecutive start dating to 2016, made a slick backheel pass to Matías Pérez García.

The Argentine immediately freed Larin in behind and the 2016 MLS All-Star fired past Union goalkeeper Andre Blake for his sixth career multi-goal game.

“It’s really pleasing to see Cyle get a couple goals,” Kreis said.

“His partner up there, he deserves a couple as well so I wouldn’t want to say anything about the forwards without saying how important Carlos Rivas was to the performance tonight as well.”

The Union pressed higher for the equalizer and came within inches late in the match.

A Philadelphia shot from outside the box rang off the far post and ricocheted across the face of goal.

Seconds later, goalkeeper Joe Bendik came up with a huge save when he leapt through the air and batted Bedoya’s header from point-blank range.

Orlando City Signs Star Goalkeeper Joe Bendik To Three-Year Contract ExtensionRelated Story:
Orlando City Signs Star Goalkeeper Joe Bendik To Three-Year Contract Extension

The match saw Orlando City Pro Academy product Pierre da Silva make his MLS debut. Da Silva came on for Rivas in the 89th minute. Da Silva became the first player in Club history to climb from the Pro Academy to Orlando City B, the Club’s United Soccer League (USL) affiliate, to the First Team when he was signed on Jan. 20.

MLS will go on an eight-day hiatus for FIFA International dates from March 20-28. City will face Columbus Crew SC on Saturday, April 1, at 4 p.m. ET in an UniMás national TV broadcast. The Lions return to Orlando City Stadium on Sunday, April 9, when they host the New York Red Bulls.

Tickets to all City home matches are available at OrlandoCitySC.com or by calling 855-ORL-CITY.


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