ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Orlando City Lions hosted NYCFC in the second matchup in the inaugural Orlando City Invitational at Orlando City Stadium Saturday night. With Dom Dwyer out due to an injury, Orlando’s veteran players Kljestan, Mueller, and Johnson were on hand to carry the match. Newly signed goalie Brian Rowe was among the starting eleven.
The first match of the Invitational, in which Minnesota United FC faced New England Revolution, pushed the Lions vs. NYCFC match 20 minutes back due to New England arriving 20 minutes late.
Orlando’s Sacha Kljestan made a right pass to Tesho Akindele, who made Orlando City’s first score attempt of the game in the third minute, but got blocked off the right goal post by NYCFC’s goalie.
In the 12th minute, Orlando City’s Sebastian Mendez cross to Will Johnson, who kicked for the goal, but NYCFC’s Ben Sweat kicked the ball up and out of the way for the goalie to catch and release.
NYCFC’s Maxi Moralez scored the game’s first goal in the 29th minute, with a swift high kick that just barely made it below the crossbar. Brian Rowe’s hands weren’t quite high enough to make the block.
NYCFC managed a second goal in the 32nd minute due to holes in Orlando’s defense. Rowe barely grazed it, and the ball found the back of the net, the goal wasn’t counted due to it being offsides.
Orlando answered back in the next minute, though, with a right cross from Acosta to Tesho Akindele, who found the back of the net, tying the score at 1-1.
Orlando doubled up in the 36th minute with a coordinated effort from Mendez to Kljestan to Akindele to Mueller for the score, making the score 2-1.
In the 58th minute, NYCFC’s Lewis was issued a yellow card after wrestling with Orlando’s Chris Mueller for the ball, causing Mueller to take a tumble. Orlando City got the penalty kick, but didn’t score.
In the 66th minute, Orlando had a close call, but no score with Acosta’s sharp right cross to the box as Mueller headed it to the net, but missed off the right post.
NYCFC’s Alex Ring was issued a yellow card in the 67th minute.
In the 69th minute, NYCFC found a vulnerable opportunity for a breakaway to the goal, but Orlando’s Kamal Miller slid the ball off to the right to prevent the point.
In the 74th minute, NYCFC’s Lewis was issued a red card and ejected from the game. NYCFC then subbed James Sands for Alex Ring in the 76th minute.
In the 78th minute, Orlando’s turbo man, Ruan, went down, grabbing his hamstring. In the 79th, OCB’s Jordan Bender, the youngest player to ever play for Orlando City, was subbed in for Ruan.
In the 85th minute, NYCFC subbed in Juan Pablo Torres for Jesus Medina.
In the 89th minute, NYCFC’s Castellanos was issued a yellow card.
Orlando was able to hold the line against NYCFC to prevent them from scoring for the remainder of the game. After the one minute of added play, the final score was 2-1.
The Orlando City Invitational continues with another double-header Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at Orlando City Stadium. NYCFC will play Minnesota United at 4:30pm and Orlando City will face New England Revolution at 7:30pm.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | email@example.com