ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Orlando City Lions faced off against the New England Revolution in the final match of the inaugural Orlando City Invitational at Orlando City Stadium Wednesday night, this time with a lot more familiar faces in the starting XI, including Lamine Sane, Dillon Powers, Cam Lindley, Uri Rosell and Cristian Higuita.
Before kickoff, Orlando City fans were formally introduced to the team’s newest addition, midfielder Luis Nani, who was warmly received.
The game was off to a fierce start, with New England attempting upwards of four goals within the first ten minutes. The closest call came in the 12th minute, but the shot rolled off the left goal post, keeping the score 0-0.
However, in the space of those first ten minutes, A yellow card was also issued.
In the 16th minute, New England made a shot on goal from the right with a swift bend, but Orlando City goalie Greg Ranjitsingh caught the ball to keep the score at nil.
In the 22nd minute, Orlando made an aggressive effort to score, but was ultimately blocked. In the back field, Powers cut a sharp left pass to Lindley, who ran it down to Josue Colman, who run it across to the right side of the box and tried to bend it into the net, but NE goalie Matt Turner made a swift block.
In the 29th minute, Orlando City garnered a penalty kick, and Uri Rosell nailed the goal, putting Orlando on the board first, 1-0.
Orlando got on the board once again in the 32nd minute. Uri Rosell made a hard left cross, forcing New England to cause an own goal, bringing the score to 2-0.
Though Orlando City missed another goal attempt in the 40th minute, the defense remained consistent on the other end of the field, with Pierre Da Silva curtailing a goal attempt with a right cross in the box in the nick of time before the ball could make it to the goalie, keeping the score 2-0 for Orlando at halftime.
Orlando City roared into the second half, scoring three goals in five minutes. Within two minutes of the second half, Lindley passed to Colman, who knocked the ball into the right side of the New England net for Orlando City’s third goal. In the 49th minute, Santiago Patino scored Orlando’s fourth goal with a pass from Rosell. In the 51st minute, Colman made a run for the goal and makes a swift left cross to Higuita who kicked it into the net with the right foot.
New England made substitutions in the 52nd minute, with Zahibo and Rennicks coming on for Penilla and Caicedo. The score was 5-0, Orlando.
In a desperate effort to prevent another Orlando goal, NE’s goalie ran out and stopped the ball, earning him a yellow card and Orlando a penalty kick. Dillon Powers nailed the penalty kick, burying the nail in the coffin with goal number six. New England finally switched out goalie Matt Turner immediately thereafter.
In the 60th minute, NE’s Buchanan nabbed a yellow card. Orlando’s Rosell got one in the 65th.
In the 72nd minute, Orlando subbed in Orlando City B’s Jordan Bender for Cristian Higuita.
In the 81st minute, New England finally got on the board with Bunbury’s header into the goal, making the score 6-1, Orlando. Before the final whistle, New England was able to squeeze in one more goal, making the final score 6-2.
Rosell, Lindley and Higuita’s aggressive performances electrified the younger players on the roster to bring their A game, and it showed in the defense and final score.
Orlando City not only won the final match in the Orlando City Invitational, but won the tournament as a whole. The team was presented with their award after the final whistle.
Orlando City kicks of its 2019 season hosting NYCFC at Orlando City Stadium Saturday, March 2 at 2:30pm ET.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | email@example.com