The Lions won their first game of the season on Saturday.
A Sacha Kljestan goal in the 73rd minute and a strong defensive outing powered Orlando City past the New York Red Bulls, 1-0 at Red Bull Arena.
“I thought there was a lot of positives tonight,” said Orlando coach James O’Connor after the game. “I think the manner in the performance was very good, I think the mentality was excellent. I think the chance creation we had was very good.”
Orlando’s goal came when Dom Dwyer was able to hold off Tim Parker, pass the ball to the left flank to João Moutinho, who’s servicing ball was reflected towards Kljestan, striking it past Luis Robles for the eventual game-winner.
O’Connor deployed a different type of lineup to last week, but it got the win.
Chris Mueller and Dwyer did not start, but instead, Santiago Patiño got the start after an impressive debut last week against Montreal.
Robin Jansson, who joined recently from Swedish side AIK, made his MLS debut starting in the back line alongside Alex De John and Shane O’Neill.
Carlos Ascues paired up with Uri Rosell, who made his season debut on Saturday. João Moutinho also made his season debut as a left wingback. Ruan played to the right.
Brian Rowe finished the game with his first clean sheet for the Lions on Saturday.
Nani captained the team.
“I think we were unlucky, we felt, at halftime to not come in leading,” added O’Connor. “I think we can be very, very pleased and I’m really pleased with the players because the identity of this group can’t be that game last week. When I look at the performances that we’ve had previously, they were all very encouraging, a lot of positives and the players get the award tonight. It was great.”
Up next for Orlando
The Lions return home to take on D.C. United on Sunday, March 31 at 6:30 p.m. at Orlando City Stadium.
73′ Sacha Kljestan, asst: João Moutinho, Dom Dwyer (Orlando)
How the Lions lined up
Orlando City XI: Brian Rowe, Shane O’Neill, Alex De John, Robin Jansson Ruan, Carlos, Ascues, Uri Rosell, Sacha Kljestan, João Moutinho Santiago Patiño, Nani.
Orlando City Bench: Lamine Sané, Kyle Smith, Dom Dwyer, Cristian Higuita, Chris Mueller, Benji Michel, Greg Ranjitsingh.
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