The Lions were looking to build off last weekend’s first win of the season, but a goal and assist performance from Wayne Rooney spurred D.C. United to a 2-1 victory over Orlando City Sunday night in front of 22,481 at Orlando City Stadium.
“I think when you look at the second set piece, it’s embarrassing really at this stage,” said Orlando coach James O’Connor, who was upset on a foul on goalkeeper Brian that wasn’t called that led to the second goal for DCU.
“I’m at a stage now where the players need to be protected because when you look at the foul on Brian Rowe is so obvious. It goes to VAR, everybody could see it. For some reason, what’s the point of having VAR? He didn’t even go and look at it. Yet, everyone can see that it’s a foul. For us, we’ve had it. Since I’ve been here, we’ve had it in game after game.”
D.C. United opened the scoring early. After a handball from Orlando center back Robin Jansson awarded the visitors a free kick, Wayne Rooney’s cross connected with Steven Birnbaum, who headed the ball past Brian Rowe for the 1-0 lead in the sixth minute.
DCU doubled the lead in the 30th minute in controversial fashion after Dom Dwyer was called for a foul on Rooney, but the replay of the infraction showed no contact. Rooney, then, took the free-kick from the corner of the box, bending the ball towards the top-right corner for the 2-0 lead.
Following the game, Rooney was asked about the call, saying, “I see him coming and I got out of the way because if I didn’t, it could’ve been a serious injury. As the referee said, it’s intent. I’m not stupid enough to stand in there and let him try to take my knee off.”
The second half saw the Lions rally for an equalizer.
The Lions pulled one back in the 63rd minute when a cross from substitute Chris Mueller found Dwyer, who headed the ball from close range past Bill Hamid to reduce the defecit.
Mueller almost tied the game in stoppage time when his header hit off the post, nearly equalizing the game.
Young designated player Josué Colmán and Danilo Acosta did not make the 18-man game day roster due to a coach’s decision. Cristian Higuita did not make the bench for Orlando on Sunday.
When O’Connor was asked about Colmán, he said it’s something that shouldn’t be a big deal, adding he’ll more than likely be involved next week.
Orlando won its first game of the season last weekend during a 1-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena.
Up next for Orlando
Colorado Rapids on Saturday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Orlando City Stadium.
6′: Steven Birnbaum; asst: Wayne Rooney (D.C. United)
30′: Wayne Rooney (D.C. United)
63′: Dom Dwyer (Orlando City)
How the Lions lined up
Orlando City XI: Brian Rowe, Lamine Sané, Robin Jansson, Shane O’Neill, Ruan, João Moutinho; Uri Rosell (59′), Carlos Ascues, Sacha Kljestan (59′); Dom Dwyer, Nani (c) (78′).
Orlando City Bench: Adam Grinwis; Kamal Miller, Kyle Smith, Benji Michel (78′), Santiago Patiño, Sebastián Méndez (59′), Chris Mueller (59′).
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