This past weekend was packed with a lot of rain and a lot of soccer in the Orlando area, as all three pro teams played matches at home, while UCF soccer played their first home match of the season.
Orlando City beats NYCFC 2-1
It was a wet and wild affair for the Lions, who took until the last kick of the game to come away with three points. Tesho Akindele‘s 96th-minute header pulled out a much needed win for Orlando against their Eastern Conference rivals in New York.
After Junior Urso scored the opener in the ninth minute, a deluge of rain descended on Exploria Stadium, which drenched the players and the pitch, making the end of the first half a slog to play in.
The rain cleared before the beginning of the second half, however the Lions got off to the wrong start, as they conceded in the first 10 minutes to Maxi Moralez, who scored his 5th goal against Orlando in his MLS tenure.
As Orlando pushed for the winner, it was one of the new loanees, Ivan Angulo, who won the last second corner and delivered a near post ball which Akindele would head in and send Exploria into delirium.
“To be able to do it here in front of the fans and those fans like everybody that was there stuck it through the worst rain I’ve literally ever played through my career was amazing,” Tesho said, “I might have left if I if I was one of them. So, really, props to them.”
Orlando now plays the Seattle Sounders tomorrow night at 7:30, before turning their attention to the U.S. Open Cup final against Sacramento Republic in eight days time.
Orlando Pride falls to OL Reign 2-1
After not scoring for the Orlando Pride in her tenure, Meggie Dougherty Howard scored her second in three games against the run of play on Friday night. The midfielder gave her side the lead off a poor turnover in the OL Reign‘s backline, which saw Orlando head into the halftime break up 1-0.
As the Pride looked to continue their unbeaten streak, Megan Rapinoe scored a stoppage time game-winner, after Bethany Balcer equalized in the 56th minute, to hand Orlando their first loss since June 19th.
“It’s a sucker punch at the end because I felt like we were starting to get momentum and we looked like the team that was going to get the winning goal,” Head Coach Seb Hines said, “Football’s a cruel game at times. And it’s a learning moment for all of us.”
The Pride now have the week off before hosting the Portland Thorns, the team they lost to on June 19th by a score of 6-0. That game will be played on Friday, September 9th at 7:00.
Orlando City B draws FC Cincinnati II, falls in penalties
After just signing a full contract with Orlando City B, forward Favian Loyola scored twice in the Young Lions’ match against FC Cincinnati II, pulling out a draw at home by a 2-2 scoreline.
OCB would unfortunately fall in the ending penalty shootout 7-6, after Andrew Forth missed his penalty and FCCII’s Zico Baily scored his.
Orlando has just three matches left on the season, with two of them being held away from home. Currently, they sit eight points back of fourth, the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
UCF Men and Women get their first home wins
Both UCF soccer programs got off to good starts to their seasons at home, winning 3-1 and 2-1 respectivly
Kristen Scott bagged a brace for the women’s side in their 3-1 win over FGCU on Sunday afternoon, with the Knights scoring three unanswered after conceding in the fifth minute of the match.
The Men’s team battled back from a 1-0 deficit on Monday night, getting goals from newcomer Maël Haise and a game winner from captain Mauricio Villalobos to squeak out a 2-1 win over UNF.
The women’s next match is up in Jacksonville against UNF of Thursday, while the men are on the road to face FGCU in Ft. Myers on Friday.
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