Stoppage time drama this season hasn’t favored Orlando City.
After a continuation of conceding late goals in the final moments of a game, this time it was the Lions with the dagger.
Cyle Larin and Adrian Winter gave Orlando the much-needed lift, but it was Ricardo Kaká who delivered the game-winning goal in the dying seconds of the game after converting a penalty kick to spearhead Orlando City past Toronto FC 3-2 on Saturday night in front of 27,818 at Camping World Stadium.
“Once again we’ve left it late, but we’ve got a result I thought we deserved,” Orlando coach Adrian Heath said after the game. “We certainly deserve that one because this group has had things go against them.
“With this group, you need to create chances. I’m pleased with the captain that he got his goal, a lot of pressure on him.
Larin gave the Lions the early lead in the fifth minute after finishing off a pass from Kevin Molino for his team-high eighth goal of the season. After Jordan Hamilton scored the equalizing goal for Toronto in the 47th minute, Molino notched another assist after connecting with Winter to head the ball for the go-ahead goal in the 83rd minute.
Justin Morrow delivered the game-tying goal in stoppage time, but it was second-half substitute Julio Baptista that drew a penalty that left TFC down a man when Josh Williams was booked with a straight red card.
The Orlando City captain stepped up from the spot, striking the ball toward the bottom of the top crossbar and into the net for the winning goal with seconds left to the game.
“It’s very, very big because we win this game after everything that happened during the game, it’s a big gift for us and for the supporters,” said Kaká on his goal.
Kaká went even further: “When they scored the second goal, I thought ‘Again? It happened again’ it can’t happen anymore because every game we concede a goal in the last minute and draw every game, but we kept fighting, so we deserved the win because the team still wanted to win.”
Orlando City (4-3-8, 20 points) dominated most of the first half with shots coming from Larin, Kaka, Winter and Ceren. Heath’s men dominated the first half with 55.9 percent of possession while outshooting Toronto 10-5. the Lions finished with a total of 17 shots with an overall 60 percent possession.
The game marked the return of Kaká and Ceren, who respectively were absent the last month for Orlando because of a thigh strain and ankle injury.
Orlando City improve to a five-game unbeaten run while also snapping a run of three straight draws.
Because of hot climate the peaked over 90 degrees, the game paused in the 29th minute for a water break.
Orlando City will host the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Wednesday at Camping World Stadium at 7:30 p.m. in the Round of 16 of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
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