VIDEO: Orlando City Draws Against Sporting KC 2-2 In Front of 25,000-Plus Fans
By Orlando City SC // May 14, 2017
ABOVE VIDEO: Highlights – Orlando City SC vs. Sporting Kansas City
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – In its first match back from a two-game road trip, Orlando City SC (6-3-1, 19 points) erased an early deficit to pick up a point against Sporting Kansas City (5-2-4, 19 points) Saturday at Orlando City Stadium. It is Orlando City’s first draw of 2017.
“Difficult game. Really difficult game against a really quality opponent in my opinion,” Lions Head Coach Jason Kreis said.
“Really pleased with the guys’ effort, work rate, commitment, togetherness. I have to say at the end of the day a draw was a fair result and pleased to take the point. Our objective is always going to be to have three points, to go after three points at home, but sometimes we’ll have to settle for one.”
Center back José Aja started the match alongside Jonathan Spector, Donny Toia and Scott Sutter. Kaká, Cristian Higuita, Will Johnson and Antonio Nocerino lined up at midfield and Cyle Larin and Carlos Rivas were at forward. Joe Bendik started his 44th match as a Lion.
Sporting KC became the first opponent to take a lead against the Lions at Orlando City Stadium in the ninth minute when Latif Blessing tapped in a loose ball.
The deficit didn’t last long, though. After a nice spell of possession orchestrated by Kaká, Toia found Rivas on the left wing and the Colombian lofted a cross to Larin in the box. Larin picked up his seventh goal of the season when he leaped in the air and touched it home, while Rivas recorded his fifth assist, a team-high.
City continued the pressure from there and found the go-ahead goal in the 26th minute when Sutter, who celebrated his 31st birthday today, lofted the ball into the box for Kaká. The captain chested it down, took a touch and curled a smooth shot into the bottom corner. It was Kaká’s third goal in five games this season.
“He’s been showing up in the right spots at the right time,” Kreis said.
“Obviously tonight’s goal was a special one. In that much traffic to take it down the way he did and the way he calmly placed it around the defender in the far post, there’s not too many players that are capable of those types of goals.”
The Lions held on to the lead for nearly 50 minutes but Sporting KC equalized in the 74th minute when Blessing found another tap-in. Bendik, who finished with six saves, stopped Benny Feilhaber’s initial shot from close range but the rebound bounced straight to Blessing.
It appeared as though City regained the lead just seconds later when Aja headed in Johnson’s cross but it was ruled that the ball crossed the end line.
The draw levels the all-time series between City and Sporting to 1-1-1 after the Lion’s win in 2015 and KC’s win nearly a year ago today.
Orlando City faces a quick turnaround when it heads to San Jose to take on the Earthquakes at 10:30 p.m. ET kickoff on Wednesday, May 17.
The Lions return to Orlando City Stadium on Sunday, May 21, when they face New York City FC for the third and final time this season. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.
Tickets to all City home matches are available at OrlandoCitySC.com or by calling 855-ORL-CITY.