For the first time in six MLS meetings, Orlando City fell to the Colorado Rapids 2-1 on Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.
Chris Mueller scored the Lions’ first goal of 2020 to level the score in the 82nd minute, but it wouldn’t be enough to brag the road point as the Rapids found a game-winning goal in the 90th minute to claim all three points late for the second week in a row.
Orlando City (0-1-1, 1 point) came out and dominated possession through the first 15 minutes of the match, striking a decent balance between defense and offense, but lacking much of an idea or direction in the final third of the pitch.
A big save by Pedro Gallese, who made three saves on the night, in the 35th minute helped keep the game scoreless.
Colorado started to turn the momentum in their favor, taking control through the final 20 minutes of the opening half, but the game went scoreless into halftime.
Colorado continued to ride possession and push the ball into Orlando City’s half of the field, but the Lions stood strong and defended well up until Younes Namil opened his Rapids account with a brilliant rocket to beat Gallese from outside the penalty area, breaking the deadlock and putting his side up 1-0.
With dead legs taking over, Mauricio Pereyra and Mueller came into the game to give Orlando some fresh legs to compete with the high-altitude in Colorado.
The Lions finally broke through with their first goal of the new campaign when Mueller made a sneaky run in behind three Rapids defenders to pick up a perfectly placed through-ball from Andrés Perea to slip in a shot and level the score.
With time winding down and a draw nearing, Colorado won a corner and used it to find the net one more time as Drew Moor, making his return to Colorado, beat Antonio Carlos on a header to bag the goal and the three points.
Orlando City will return home next weekend to take on the Chicago Fire with the help of Nani, who will make his 2020 debut after serving a two-game suspension carried over from the end of last season. That match at Exploria Stadium is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET.
64’ – Younes Namli (assisted by Keegan Rosenberry) – COL
82’ – Chris Mueller (assisted by Andrés Perea, Junior Urso) – ORL
90’ – Drew Moor (assisted by Jack Pride) – COL
Orlando City XI: Pedro Gallese; Rodrigo Schlegel, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, Kyle Smith (Ruan, 72’); João Moutinho (Mauricio Pereyra, 72’), Sebastián Méndez, Junior Urso, Andrés Perea; Tesho Akindele, Benji Michel (Chris Mueller, 79’)
Orlando bench: Brian Rowe Joey DeZart, Kamal Miller, Santiago Patiño
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