ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Orlando City hosted an aggressive New England Revolution at Exploria Stadium Wednesday night, and were forced to rise to the occasion.
Both teams dueled hard for the ball, and given the fresh rain, took several tumbles in the process, including Orlando’s Lamine Sane, who went down with a leg cramp in the 9th minute.
In the 15th minute, Orlando’s Sacha Kljestan made the left cross to Patino, who attempted a header into the goal, but missed off the left side.
In the 24th minute Orlando had another epic near-goal. Patino made a breakaway and made the right cross to Orlando’s other turbo attacker, Ruan Texeira, made a left cross shot, which New England goalie Matt Turner caught right at the left corner of the goal.
New England had their own epic near-goal in the 36th minute. After earning a free kick, the attacker made a between-the-leg maneuver and came through with a left cross, but missed the goal off the left side. The attempt was ruled offsides.
The duel came to a head for Orlando City in the 42nd minute when Cristian Higuita took a hard tumble and only managed to stand up after about two minutes, at which point he limped off the field. Lamine Sane and Chris Mueller hugged and encouraged him as he walked off. Carlos Ascues subbed in for him in the 44th minute.
Despite two minutes of added time in the first half, the score remained 0-0.
In the 60th minute, Orlando’s Dillon Powers was able to block Juan Agudelo’s shot on goal in the nick of time to keep the board scoreless.
Orlando head coach James O’Connor decided to sub in Luis Nani for Santiago Patino in the 65th minute, raising a roar from the crowd.
New England answered with their own sub in the 67th minute, bringing in Juan Fernando Caicedo for Cristian Penilla.
Chris Mueller, after routing the ball to the top left side of the field, made a shot in the 72nd minute, but New England’s Turner caught it.
New England’s Juan Agudelo tried again at a goal and got tight into the box, inches from the left goal post, but Dillon Powers and Orlando goalie Adam Grinwis blocked his kick.
In the 81st minute, Orlando subbed in Benji Michel for Chris Mueller.
Orlando nearly caused an own-goal in the 84th minute. New England’s Carles Gill made a corner kick, but Orlando’s Lamine Sane headed the ball towards the goal, which Grinwis caught.
Grinwis was clutch in the 85th minute, too, leaping in the air to catch a New England free kick.
Tesho caused everyone’s hearts to leap with what was arguably the most epic near-goal in the 87th minute: a right kick that promised to find the back of the net, only to bounce off the left goal post.
Both teams had near-goals again. In the 94th minute, Grinwis ran out to meet the ball, colliding with teammate Robin Jansson and New England’s attacker to block the shot.
Since neither team scored in regulation play, even with two minutes of stoppage time at the end, two 15-minute halves were added to ensure a score.
The breakthrough goal finally came in the 96th minute: Orlando’s Moutinho routed the ball down the left side of the field, crossed right to Sane, who knocked the ball backwards. Michel recovered the ball and shot, but Turner blocked it. The ball ended up bouncing right back to Michel, who was able to find the back of the net, for the first goal of the entire game, 1-0.
In the 101st minute, Tesho finally got the goal he was after, in slow fashion, at that. He got the ball after a deflection, made the left kick, and ball crawled past Turner into the goal, making the score 2-0, Orlando.
Tempers flared in the 105th minute, with Nani nearly fighting New England’s Antonio Menar Delamea. Kljestan stepped into the altercation and earned himself a yellow card for dissent.
In the 109th minute, Dillon Powers went down hard with a groin injury. He had to limp off the field, and Alex De John subbed in for him in the 110th minute.
In the end, New England killed Orlando’s clean sheet in the 117th minute with a goal of their own. Justin Rennicks found the back of the net with Carles Gill’s assist.
Orlando City next returns home July 3 to face the Philadelphia Union at 7:30 pm EST.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | email@example.com