Venue: Yankee Stadium
Kickoff: 15:30 ET
Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero
Line-up Orlando City: Bendik – El-Munir, Tarek, Spector, RJ Allen - Higuita, Kljestan, Johnson, Yotún - Meram, Mueller
Bench Orlando City: Earl Edwards Jr., Sané, Sutter, Laryea, Lindley, Colmán, Villarreal
Line-up New York City: Johnson – Sweat, Callens, Chanot, Abdul-Salaam – Herrera, Ring, Moralez, Wallace – Tajouri-Shradi , Medina
Bench New York City: Stuver, Ofori, McNamara, Matarrita, Ibeagha, Lewis, Awuah
46' – ORL substitution: Sané in / Spector out
62’ – NYC goal. (Tajouri-Shradi)
66’ – NYC substitution: Matarrita in / Tajouri-Shradi out
67’ – ORL substitution: Laryea in / Higuita out
72’ – NYC substitution: McNamara in / Matarrita out (injury)
74’ – NYC goal. (Moralez)
76’ – ORL substitution: Colmán in / RJ Allen out
88’ – NYC substitution: Awuah in / Moralez out
Orlando City-New York City
First “big match” of 2018 MLS season for Orlando City as they visit one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, New York City. A team captained by former Spain international David Villa is a tough side for sure and even more if they are looking for their third consecutive victory of the tournament.
SuperDraft rookie Chris Mueller found the first clear chance for the Lions very early in the game when at the minute 5’ he made shot inside the box that was deflected. On the other hand, New York City almost obtained a clear one-on-one chance against Bendik which was ruled down by an offside.
In a rough play inside the box at the minute 16’, Spector clashed his head against a rival’s head. Orlando City alarms were on, however, the Lion captain continued.
Kljestan and Mueller were the main axis of the Lions’ offensive in the first 25 minutes of the first half as they tried a few build-ups inside New York’s box. Home’s defenders cleared out most of them.
Meram appeared through the middle of the New York midfield and tried a long shot which was easily saved by the goalkeeper at the 32’. Just after this attempt, New York’s offensive line almost opened the score sheet with a tricky shot that hit the post. Joe Bendik couldn’t reach the movement of the ball but was saved by the always-welcome own post.
In general, New York City had more possession and tried to control the timing of the match. The Lions managed to create a few chances on goal with quick and direct build-ups while putting up a fight of styles in the midfield.
The second part started with a purple substitution: Senegalese international Lamine Sané was in for Spector.
Justin Meram started to look pretty dangerous in the first 15 minutes by delivering serious skills and shots in the rival box. A shot to the long post of the goalkeeper passed just a bit wide making all Lions’ fans to jump from their seats.
Despite Orlando City’s effort, New York found spaces and started to create clear chances through Rings and Moralez, being the latter the most dangerous one with a shot inches wide in the 53’. Due to the home pressure, Bendik made a mistake and allowed Tajour-Shradi be free in the purple area and score in the 62’.
After the goal Orlando and New York decided to make some changes: Laryea in for Higuita (ORL) and Tajouri-Shradi out/ Matarrita in (NYC).
Sadly, Matarrita suffered an injury with just minutes on the field and had to come off the pitch. He was replaced for McNamara.
Things started to go downhill for the purple Lions as Moralez scored the second goal for the home side. A great assist by Medina allowed Moralez to touch the ball and get a 2-0 advantage over an Orlando City in need. The Lions’ head coach Jason Kreis knew the team needed to score as soon as possible to hope for an equalizer and made Josué Colmán debut replacing RJ Allen.
Minute by minute the Lions’ went on front to try reduce the difference finding some chances with a Tarek’s long shot and a great shot by Johnson that went just off the bar.
In the minute 88 New York made their last change of the match: Awuah was in for Moralez.
The referee gave 4 minutes of aggregate time while Orlando City’s hopes for an unlikely equalizer vanished by time passed. With this 2-0 for the locals, New York City obtains their third consecutive win while the Lions their second back-to-back loss.
Things are not looking good for the boys but it’s time to give even more support to overcome this difficult moment.