Recap: Orlando City squanders first half lead, settle for draw with Montreal


Courtesy of Orlando City SC

It was a tale of two halves for Orlando City on Wendesday night. A dominant first half display turned into a lackluster second half against CF Montreal as Chris Mueller‘s goal was cancelled out in a 1-1 draw on Wednesday night at Exploria Stadium.

“It was a great effort by the players,” said head coach Oscar Pareja. “I think we can divide the game in two different halves especially, it was such a great job with the boys in the first half creating that many options. We felt that we needed to put the game away and put it far from them. But we could not score more than one goal and then just leave the game there for any opportunity that they had, you know, in the second half. We came out to 15 minutes, where they got the ball and start creating some chances. And after that the reaction from our group was better. But at the end, he was, you know, playing against a team sitting there. Now let’s, let’s pass that ball that needed to break that line of five, plus the midfielders who was difficult but I know it’s a better result because we chase and and we fought for those three points, but we will keep building on that performance special and the facade Well, we were very sharp.”

Despite the Lions dominating Montreal in the first half, the Lions could only muster one goal off of eight shots. The goal came right at the tail end of the half as a counter attack started by Robin Jansson, sprung Mauricio Pereyra and Junior Urso. After getting the ball up the field to Daryl Dike, the forward pushed the ball up to Ruan to cross the ball into the box. The original intended recipient, Benji Michel, was not able to get to the ball, but Chris Mueller was and slotted it in the back of the net for his first goal since July 3rd against the New York Red Bulls.

The Lions were able to take that lead into the half, but for the second straight match, the team came out of the locker room flat, allowing Montreal back into the game.

Just two minutes into the half, goalkeeper Pedro Gallese was forced to make a quick reaction save on a wide open Ibrahim Sunusi, which ended up being his only save of the match.

Just minutes later, however, Montreal would find their goal through a set piece. After conceding a corner, a whipped ball in by Djordje Mihailovic found Rudy Camacho‘s head, fizzing the ball past Gallese and drawing the match level.

After the goal, the visitors would take a more defensive shape, making it difficult for Orlando to get any flow offensively, but still created good chances.

In the 76th minute, both Daryl Dike and Ruan had bites of the apple as a loose ball in the box turned into two blocked shots for the Lions. That would prove to be the best chance in the second half as Montreal bunkered in and saw out the 1-1 draw.

Up next … 

Orlando City takes on the Supporters’ Shield leaders, New England Revolution, on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Exploria Stadium. The match will televise locally on FOX 35 Plus and LionNation TV.

Scoring Summary 

45’ – Ruan, assisted by Ruan (ORL)

51’ – Rudy Camacho, assisted by Djordje Milhailovic (MTL)

How the Lions lined up 

OrlandoCity XI: Pedro Gallese; Emmanuel Mas, Rodrigo Schlegel, Robin Jansson, Ruan; Oriol Rosell (Sebastian Mendez, 70’), Jr. Urso, Benji Michel (Nani, 64’), Mauricio Pereyra – c – (Alexandre Pato, 86’), Chris Mueller (Silvester van der Water, 64’); Daryl Dike (Tesho Akindele, 86’).

Substitutes: Mason Stajduhar, Kyle Smith, Sebastian Mendez, Alexandre Pato. 

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