Orlando City insisted it was desperately seeking full points this weekend even if that meant playing only for pride.
After being held winless in their last eight games, the Lions managed to secure its first win since June after goals from Cyle Larin and Giles Barnes stamped a 2-1 victory over DC United Saturday night at RFK Stadium.
Larin scored his 11th goal of the season in the 19th minute after striking from close range off a cross from Dom Dwyer. Barnes doubled the lead in the 29th minute after a failed clearance from DCU defender Sean Franklin led to Barnes kicking the rebound into the net.
Servando Carrasco, who entered at halftime for Cristian Higuita, was issued a yellow card in the 76th minute for time wasting. In the 79th minute, the midfielder was booked again for a foul on Franklin and ejected to reduce Orlando down to 10 players.
Ricardo Kaka, who came off the bench in the 77th minute for Yoshimar Yotun, was also issued a yellow in the 99th minute of stoppage time. That yellow meant the Brazilian is suspended for next week’s game at Atlanta for yellow card accumulation.
Kofi Opare’s goal in the 89th minute reduced the deficit for DCU, but the Lions managed to hang on.
The Lions finished the game with nine players after defender Seb Hines, who was making his season debut for Orlando, was issued a straight red card in the 95th minute of stoppage time for violent behaviour on DCU midfielder Lloyd Sam.
It was Orlando’s first win since June 30 when it beat DCU 2-0 at Orlando City Stadium. Larin and Barnes were the goalscorers for that game.
Orlando City (9-12-7, 34 points) provisionally jumps to ninth place in the Eastern Conference table, two points away from the playoff line.
Orlando City continues its four-game road swing when it visits Atlanta United on Saturday at Mercedes Benz Stadium at 4 p.m.
Here’s how the Lions lined up:
Orlando City starting XI: Bendik; Sutter, Redding, Hines, Toia; Higuita, Nocerino, Barnes, Yotun; Larin, Dwyer.
Orlando City subs: Kaka, PC, Rivas, Spector, Carrasco, Powers, Edwards Jr.
Larin makes history
Cyle Larin became the all-time leading goalscorer for Orlando City (MLS and USL combined) after scoring his 43rd goal in purple, surpassing Kevin Molino.
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