Venue: Orlando City Stadium
Kickoff: 19:30 ET
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Line-up Orlando City: Bendik – El-Munir, Tarek, Spector, Sutter - Lindley, PC, Johnson, Yotún, Mueller, Meram
Bench Orlando City: Earl Edwards Jr., Sané, R.J Allen, Toia, Rocha, Richie Laryea, Pinho
Line-up DC United: David Ousted — Nick DeLeon, Steve Birnbaum, Frederic Brillant, Oniel Fisher — Junior Moreno, Ulises Segura — Paul Arriola, Zoltan Stieber, Yamil Asad - Mattocks
Bench DC United: Clark, Durkin, Harkes, Miranda, Mullins, Odoi-Atsem, Opare
18' – Penalty for D.C United.
19’ – Saved penalty.
31’ – Goal D.C United (Asad)
40’ – Red Card (Orlando - PC)
58’ – Sub (Orlando City) Mueller out / Pinho in
60’ – Sub Stieber (D.C United) out / Harkes in
65’ – Sub (Orlando City) Lindley out / Laryea in
73’ – Sub (D.C United) Asad out / Durkin in
81’ – Sub (Orlando City) Sutter out / Allen in
84’ – Sub (D.C United) Mattocks put / Mullins in
93’ Goooaaaaal! Orlando City (Pinho)
With a full stadium and a crowd full of hype the first Orlando City game came with lots of emotions. The first half started with an obvious Lions dominance as the ball was all purple. Meram was a constant trouble for D.C. United defenders as he moved all over the rival area. In combinations with Meram and Johnson, Sutter found spaces and sent a couple of crosses to serve Mueller who just missed the ball both times.
However, at the minute 18’ a hand in the Lions’ own box viewed thru the VAR by the referee made him sanction a penalty for D.C. Nevertheless, Bendik made the right guess and saved the direct shot with his right hand like he was a super human.
In the 31’ minute, after a Lindley’s foul, Asad made a tricky cross to the center of the box which didn’t encounter anybody and went straight into the net with a disappointed Bendik. Things got even worse after PC Giro’s foul in the middle of the field over a D.C midfielder ended in a red car (sanctioned by the VAR) and left the Lions with only 10 men.
The second half began with chances for both sides as Bendik saved a crucial shot from D.C. United and Mueller sent a shot wide while being inside the box.
Chances continued by time passed as Segura tried to beat Bendik with a long shot at the 55’. On the other hand, Yotún almost found the back with a shot from the left side of the D.C United’s box after a Meram cross, just saved by a rival defender.
The first substitution for the Lions was Stefano Pinho for Chris Mueller, just followed by a D.C United change: Harkes for Stieber.
Orlando City kept attacking with just 10 men trying to find the Brazilian inside the rival’s box with continuous crosses. A formidable commitment was seen by the players in a stadium full of purple shirts all chanting for their team. At the 65’ rookie Cam Lindley was replaced by Laryea.
Intensity is what the Lions were on with less than 30 minutes for the end as Meram, Yotún and Laryea gave the team verticality and possession. On their side, D.C United changed their goal-scorer for this match: Asad for Durkin.
Meram kept trying to get an equalizer and became the man of the hour with various shots from outside of the box. With 75’ minutes on the clock, pressure started to make an impact.
D.C. almost scored the second after a counter-attack from an Orlando City’s 35 yards free kick, however, El-Munir was there to block it. A couple minutes after that, with 80’ on the clock, Sutter was replaced by Allen.
Last change for the visitors was Mullins for the main forward Mattocks. Still on the rival field, Orlando City kept looking for that glorious equalizer to confirm an always-win mentality that head coach Jason Kreis mentioned in preseason.
5 minutes were added by the main referee with a pack of Lions giving it all.
And Goal! A key pass from Meram left the captain Spector alone on the right side of D.C United’s box to let him deliver a low cross for Pinho who shot the ball to the back of the net with his right foot.
1-1 for the Lions today! Indeed, a winning mentality is present today at Orlando City Stadium.