With time in the 2017 MLS regular season winding down, defensive errors brought an even serious blow to Orlando’s playoff chances on Saturday.
An own-goal by Tommy Redding in the first half, and a giveaway that resulted into former Lions player Brek Shea scoring to double the lead lifted the Vancouver Whitecaps to a 2-1 victory over Orlando City (8-11-7, 31 points) in front of 24,406 at Orlando City Stadium.
“The effort the guys are putting forward in the last five or six games is second to none. The belief that they have, the willingness to work to the bitter end is fantastic,” Orlando City coach Jason Kreis said. “But for whatever reason it seems like it’s bad luck after bad luck after bad luck. To go through a game tonight where we gave them both goals, and we weren’t able to finish the plethora of chances we had is difficult.”
The Whitecaps (11-9-5, 38 points) opened the scoring in the 9th minute when Nicolas Mezquida’s free-kick flicked off Redding’s head for the own goal. The defensive howlers continued in the second half when a giveaway from center back Leo Pereira led to Erik Hurtado pouncing on a counter attack that resulted into Brek Shea finishing the breakaway to double the lead in the 53rd minute.
Here’s how the Lions lined up:
Orlando City XI: Bendik; Toia, Redding, Pereira, Sutter; Higuita, Yotun, Barnes, Kaka; Rivas, Dwyer.
Orlando City’s bench: Powers, Rocha, Larin, Nocerino, Carrasco, Edwards Jr.
A below-par performance from Carlos Rivas resulted into Cyle Larin substituting in for the Colombian at halftime.
The Lions were able to get one back in the 62nd minute when Yoshimar Yotun played a cross into the box, connecting with the Canadian to head the ball past Stefan Marinovic for his team-leading 10th goal of the season.
Orlando’s last home win was on May 31 during a 2-0 victory over DC United.
Vancouver improved its all-time series against Orlando to 2-0-1.
MLS breaks next week for FIFA international play, but Orlando City will not as they travel to Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Revolution on Saturday at 7 p.m.
(Photo Courtesy of Orlando City)
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