Orlando City Secures Home Victory Against Columbus Crew, 5-2
By Jhamie Chin, OrlandoCitySC.com // August 2, 2015
home win snaps lions four-game losing streak
ORLANDO, FLORIDA — In a highly entertaining fixture, Orlando City SC (7-9-6, 27 points) defeated second place side Columbus Crew SC (8-8-7, 37 points) 5-2 before 26,586 fans at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, securing three critical points for the Lions in a tight Eastern Conference race.
Orlando went down 1-0 early in the match when playmaker Federico Higuain scored for Crew SC in the fifth minute.
Nevertheless, City’s relentless attack following the visitor’s finish led to the team’s highest goal-scoring production so far this season.
Rookie of the Year frontrunner Forward Cyle Larin found the back of the net first for the Lions, slotting away a well-placed ball from Corey Ashe inside the area after a series of close chances. Seven minutes before halftime, midfielder Darwin Ceren provided Orlando’s second goal, blasting a second-chance effort into the top corner after receiving a precise through-ball from Kaka.
City opened the second 45 with another finish from Larin on Ashe’s dangerous cross into the box, extending the 20-year-old’s season tally to 11 goals.
With the brace, Larin tied Damani Ralph’s single-season rookie scoring record, continuing his tremendous campaign in the Lions’ inaugural season.
Three goals were scored in the final 12 minutes of the match, as Aurelien Collin nodded home a powerful header and Cristian Higuita recorded his first goal in purple. Crew SC recieved a gift from the Lions in the final minute of the game when Collin scored an own-goal when running on to a clipped ball over the top.
“Obviously I’m delighted with the performance and the result against a very good team,” said head coach Adrian Heath.
“You know how I feel about (Columbus) and how well coached they are. To come away like we did after conceding early on was an absolutely incredible performance by the boys. It was about four or five outstanding performances. A really good night’s work, players got a lot of reward for a lot of effort.”