Orlando City Draws Against Real Salt Lake, Despite Kaká Red Card
By Orlando City Communications // July 5, 2015
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Orlando City SC (6-6-6, 24 points) played the entire second half with 10 men following a controversial call on Saturday night, withstanding a mounting attack from Real Salt Lake (5-6-8, 23 points) to secure a key point and strengthen their position in the Eastern Conference.
Before a record crowd of 20,956 at Rio Tinto Stadium, the Lions opened the spirited match with their typical attacking style of play, creating scoring opportunities right from the opening whistle.
Despite both teams missing key players due to international duty, the match had its share of action.
Orlando opened the scoreline with a brilliant build-up of play between Pedro Ribeiro and Eric Avila, resulting in a well-timed pass to Kaká who slipped by the Salt Lake defensive line and lofted a shot over diving goalkeeper Jeff Attinella in the 5th minute.
The home side would respond 23 minutes later when Sebastian Jaime headed a cross from Tony Beltran to even the match at 1-1.
The fixture – the first meeting between both clubs – would get heated at times, with 28 fouls between the two teams, including a controversial red card for team captain Kaká in the 45th minute.
Despite playing a man down, the Lions defended well and capitalized on a few attacking opportunities to create problems for Salt Lake. In the end, City managed to leave Rio Tinto Stadium with a hard fought point.
“I thought it was a magnificent effort from the players after the send off,” said head coach Adrian Heath.
“Ironically, we’ve had the best chances of the game in the second half. St. Ledger had a great chance but he put too much power on it. It was a great second half for the odds. We looked very disciplined, and with a good shape. I could not be prouder with the efforts.”