Orlando City’s pursuit of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference was pushed back Saturday night against a red-hot New England Revolution.
Defensive lapses from the Lions paved the way as Bruce Arena’s New England side pushed towards a 4-1 victory over Orlando at Gillette Stadium.
“I think the biggest thing is we needed to start both halves way better than we did,” Orlando coach James O’Connor said. “After two or three minutes in the first half, we’re a goal down, to start the second half we needed to start sharper. We spoke about some of the things that they would try to do.”
“The big moments tonight haven’t gone for us but, again, we’ve created a lot of chances, haven’t taken them and then in the key moments defended really poorly,” he added. “So it’s a bad mix and something that we need to rectify because we have been defending really well, we have been creating chances and we’ve done a decent enough job of trying to be clinical. But tonight we weren’t clinical and then [made] some mistakes which we were punished for.”
The Revolution scored inside the first three minutes of both the first and second half on a night where the Lions seemed to come up empty on how to stop the Revolution, who defensively has one of the best defenses in MLS coming into the match conceding four goals for the first time in a game this season.
With the loss, Orlando City fell to 7-11-5
Gustavo Bou, New England’s big DP signing of the season, opened the scoring in the third minute when he Lamine Sane took a wrong step and let Bou receive the ball at the top of the box and walk-in for the easy shot and goal.
Despite a shaky start to the match defensively, the Lions were able to regroup for a much better final 25 minutes and held the Revs to just the one goal going into half time.
But before much of the crowd could return to their seats at the start of the second half, Cristian Penilla had already doubled New England’s lead with a 47th-minute goal.
Sebastian Mendez was called for a handball in the 60th minute when a shot deflected right off his forearm, setting up a penalty attempt for Carles Gil, which he would convert to make it a 3-0 game.
Diego Fagundez, who had just come into the match moments earlier, pushed the score to 4-0 with a beautiful goal from outside of the penalty area, a strike from distance that Brian Rowe couldn’t get a hand on.
Tesho Akindele pulled one back two minutes later in the 77th minute on an assist from Dom Dwyer, but it wouldn’t be enough for Orlando City, which finished off their second loss in a row.
3′ – Gustavo Bou (New England Revolutions)
47′ – Cristian Penilla (New England Revolution)
60′ – Carles Gil (New England Revolution)
75′ – Diego Fagundez (New England Revolution)
77′ – Tesho Akindele (Orlando City)
Orlando returns home again next weekend as they welcome FC Dallas to Exploria Stadium for an important intra-conference matchup. The Lions will need to find some points from that one if they want to remain in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
How the Lions lined up
Orlando City XI: Brian Rowe; Ruan, Robin Jansson, Lamine Sane, Joao Moutinho (HT); Sebastian Mendez, Uri Rosell (69′), Dillion Powers; Sacha Kljestan (87′), Tesho Akindele, Nani
Orlando Bench: Carlos Ascues, Dom Dwyer (69′), Kamal Miller (HT), Robinho (87′), Greg Ranjitsingh, Kyle Smith, Benji Michel
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