In their first appearance in the Leagues Cup, Orlando City ended up a one and done team as they were knocked out at home against Liga MX side Santos Laguna during a 1-0 loss Thursday at Exploria Stadium.
“Obviously, frustrated with the results, but not with the way the boys played today,” Head Coach Oscar Pareja said after the match. “The team showed a lot of personality tonight and especially in the first hour where we created those options. We could have walked out with a different result, playing against a good team, but I want to highlight the personality of the players during the whole game. I think it’s a game that is going to make us grow. Obviously we pursue the results, but at this point, the group just showed tonight against a good rival that we can play against anyone. ”
Early on, it began to look good for Orlando. Just 30 seconds into the match, Mauricio Pereyra found Chris Mueller in the box, with Mueller getting a shot away as he fell down. The shot, however, was saved off the line by Ronaldo Prieto.
Just a few minutes later, a poor turnover by Junior Urso almost resulted in an opener for Santos’ Juan Otero, but Mason Stajduhar came up with a big save to keep the match level.
Following the first frenetic minutes, the game began to slow down, but Orlando could not keep possession of the ball, often committing turnovers in their own half.
After another turnover trying to build into an attack, Santos found the one and only goal of the match. Juan Otero received the ball on the wing, took a touch inside and fired a low shot, which took a bounce and skipped just over Mason Stajduahr’s glove for the goal.
The first half ended without any other chances from the Lions, only managing that first minute shot on target. The second half was not much better, as Santos shifted into a defensive shape and kept Orlando at bay. The only shot Orlando managed on target in the entire second half came from Nani in the 64th minute, which was saved by Gibran Lajud.
Despite late substitutions and attacking phases, the Lions could not find an equalizer, falling out of the Leagues Cup 1-0.
Following the final whistle, Junior Urso was shown a straight red for arguing with the referee, as he had to be held back by team officials.
The Lions return to MLS play as they travel to Nashville SC next Wednesday, Aug. 18 at 8:30 pm. The match will be broadcast on FOX 35+ and LionNationTV.
30′ – Juan Otero (SAN)
How the Lions lined up
Orlando City XI: Mason Stajduhar; Joao Moutinho (Emmanuel Mas, 86′) ; Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, Ruan, (Kyle Smith, 87′) ; Junior Urso, Andres Perea, Mauricio Pereyra (David Loera, 87′), Chris Mueller (Silvester van der Water, 59′), Nani; Tesho Akindele (Benji Michel, 58′)
Substitutes: Adam Grinwis, Alexander Alvarado, Thomas Williams, Joey DeZart, Michael Halliday
For more soccer news, follow the Soccer Journal on Twitter: @OSJSoccer