Orlando City had several chances, but it was the New York Red Bulls that capitalized on theirs as Brian White’s first-half goal pushed the visitors to a 1-0 win at Exploria Stadium Sunday night.
“Obviously, very disappointed,” said Orlando coach James O’Connor. “I think in the first 35 minutes, we were off. We looked a little bit flat, it took us a while to get going. But the last 10 minutes of the second half, we started to feel like we were coming into it more. The second half, I think we absolutely bossed the game and completely dominated.”
“[We] hit the woodwork three times and had some chances,” he added. “It’s obviously very frustrating when you have a game, especially when you have the ball bouncing off the crossbar and off the post… it just didn’t happen for us tonight.”
Orlando (7-10-5, 26 points) hit the woodwork three times in front of an announced attendance of 22,408, but Brian White’s finish off a ball from Kaku, sealed the victory after striking the ball past Orlando goalkeeper Brian Rowe in the 32nd minute.
In the 51st minute, Tesho Akindele’s shot towards goal was saved by Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles.
Orlando’s majority of chances came in the second half when a ball from João Moutinho pinned Carlos Ascues, who’s shot hit off the crossbar in the 60th minute. Moments later, in the 70th minute, Akindele’s attempt also hit the crossbar.
Sacha Kljestan’s strike in the 77th minute nearly tied the game after hitting the post off a ball placed by Akindele. Kljestan pounced on the rebound but was denied by Robles.
Orlando goalkeeper Brian Rowe made several key saves in the first half, denying Amro Tarek’s twice in the 11th and 26th minute. Rowe also stopped a shot from Derrick Etienne in the 36th minute.
Nani, who recently returned from food poisoning, left the match in the 71st minute after feeling pain in his calf, but a team spokesperson said after the game that the Orlando City captain will be “all right” after being evaluated.
Dom Dwyer missed Saturday’s match after getting suspended an additional game for violent conduct during last week’s 1-0 win over the Columbus Crew.
Statistically, Orlando failed to produce any shots on target in the first half before putting four on frame in the second half.
For Akindele, the team was unlucky on Saturday.
“Sometimes you get unlucky,” said Akindele. “Sometimes you get lucky too, I’ve scored goals lucky goals, but I guess today was just got unlucky hopefully next time it goes our way.”
Up next for Orlando
The Lions are on the road to take on the New England Revolution on Saturday, July 27 at Gillette at 7 p.m. ET.
32′ – Brian White, assisted by Kaku (NY Red Bulls)
How the Lions lined up
Orlando City XI (4-3-3): Brian Rowe; João Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Lamine Sané, Ruan; Will Johnson, Carlos Ascues (Sacha Kljestan, 67′), Sebastián Méndez; Nani (Santiago Patiño, 71′), Tesho Akindele, Chris Mueller (Robinho, 67′).
Orlando City Bench: Adam Grinwis, Kamal Miller, Oriol Rosell, Kyle Smith.
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