In their most important match of the season, Orlando City went up early, but fell late to the Houston Dynamo, 2-1 on Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
It was a quick start for Orlando as they scored within the first 10 minutes as after a foul on Cristian Higuita, Orlando went up 1-0 thanks to a Mauricio Pereyra free-kick to Dom Dwyer. The striker headed in his seventh goal of the season and his fifth goal with his head this year.
Following the goal, Orlando managed to slow the game down and try to possess the ball throughout the first half, though had some close calls after Houston settled down into the game. The Lions managed to head to the locker room clinging to that one-goal lead.
The second half was a bit of the same for the first 25 minutes, as Orlando constantly defended chances for the Dynamo, but the dam finally broke in the 70th minute when Alberth Elis managed to find space in the box to head in a cross from Christian Ramirez to level the game. Just three minutes later, Houston struck again as Mauro Manotas crossed a ball into an unmarked Ramirez to make it 2-1.
After taking the lead, Houston began to play with the ball and out possessed the Lions, with some opportunities coming for the away side, but none would beat goalkeeper Joe Willis in the second half.
With Orlando’s loss, their chances of making the playoffs drop to just 4%, according to fivethirtyeight.com
- Orlando City heads to Cincinnati next Sunday to take on FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium. Kickoff set for 5:00 p.m. ET.
- After picking up his fifth yellow card of the season, midfielder Cristian Higuita will miss the next game in Cincinnati due to accumulation.
- Dom Dwyer’s 47th-minute goal marks the first time he has scored in back-to-back games since March 9th and 16th of this season.
- Dwyer also is Orlando City’s all-time leader in franchise goals, with USL and MLS combined. He sits tied for second all-time in MLS play alone.
- Mauricio Pereyra earned his second career MLS assist on Dwyer’s goal in the 6th minute.
Goal summary vs. New England Revolution
6′ – Dom Dwyer (Orlando)
70′ – Alberth Elis (Houston)
73′ – Christian Ramirez (Houston)
How the Lions lined up
Orlando City XI: Brian Rowe; Kamal Miller, Robin Jansson, Lamine Sané, Ruan; Will Johnson, Cristian Higuita (Carlos Ascues 64′), Sebas Mendez (Chris Mueller 85′), Mauricio Pereyra (Tesho Akindele, 63′); Nani (c), Dom Dwyer.
Orlando Bench: Adam Grinwis, Kyle Smith, Benji Michel, Uri Rosell.
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