Orlando City was heading toward a fourth loss this season, but a stoppage time goal from Kevin Molino ensured the Lions a 2-2 draw against New York City FC on Sunday in front of 25,039 at Yankee Stadium.
“I’m obviously delighted. I thought we deserved it. I thought it was a really good team performance,” Orlando bossman Adrian Heath said. “We knew that they were going to come out firing because of their result last week and they had a couple good looks in the first half but I thought the team worked really, really hard.
New York City took the early lead in the 41st minute after Federic Brillant headed in a ball from RJ Allen past Joe Bendik in the 41st minute.
David Villa doubled the lead for NYC in the 66th minute after Andrea Pirlo found the Spanish striker to chip the ball over Bendik. Villa could of given New York the 3-0 lead moments later, but failed to convert on an awarded penalty kick.
Heath’s men reduced the deficit moments later after a ball from Molino connected with Julio Baptista, striking the ball past Josh Saunders in the 72nd minute. The goal was Baptista’s first since joining Orlando City earlier this season.
Molino, who played the entire game, leveled the score in the dying seconds of the game after Carlos Rivas whipped in a cross that found Cyle Larin, whose header connected with the Trinidad & Tobago international to head into the net for his fifth goal of the season.
“I was pleased because it’s never easy,” added Heath. “We’ve lost five players that would normally start for us and being in the third game in eight days. We’ve taken five points, so I’m delighted.”
The Lions traveled without Ricardo Kaka (national team duty), Rafael Ramos (hamstring) and Darwin Ceren (ankle). Cristian Higuita and David Mateos also missed Sunday’s game at Yankee Stadium because of suspension.
NYCFC entered the game after a devastating 7-0 defeat last week at home against rivals New York Red Bulls.
New York City improved to 4-4-6 in the season, and sit in fourth place in the Eastern conference with 18 points.
The Lions will embark on a two-week break as Major League Soccer will rest for the group stage of the Copa America Centenario, which is slated to start this upcoming weekend.
Orlando City (3-3-7, 16 points) returns to MLS play when it hosts the San Jose Earthquakes at Camping World Stadium on Saturday, June 18 at 7:30 p.m.
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