ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Orlando City Lions battled and prevailed against Real Salt Lake (RSL) to maintain their season winning streak at Orlando City Stadium Sunday before an audience of 23,000-plus roaring fans–and made history while they were at it: the Lions secured their first-ever six-game winning streak Sunday. The Lions entered the match with the wind at their backs, having won against Colorado, while RSL came into the match off of a shutout loss at Vancouver.
The Lions brought the pressure in the first half, with two goal attempts within the first five minutes. The team’s setups were formidable against RSL’s strong defense, but Dwyer missed both.
In the 7th minute, two RSL players pulled defender Lamine Sane down to the ground by the shoulders after a steal.
RSL got on the board first by drawing Orlando goalie Joe Bendik out of the box in the 12th minute. In the 13th minute Orlando tried at least three time to score, keeping the ball in the box and the pressure on, but RSL goalie Nick Rimando was a wall.
In the 16th minute, Orlando’s Yotun passed to Kljestan for another goal attempt, but Kljestan kicked it high over the crossbar.
In the 23rd minute, Orlando’s Meram received the ball in the box for what looked to be a perfect shot, but missed it to the left of the post.
In the 33rd minute, the contest for the ball was fierce, with Orlando making at least four scoring attempts. RSL retrieved the ball and nearly scored a second goal, but Bendik tapped the ball out of the way, causing it to bounce off the left goal post.
Despite Orlando’s tenacity, they didn’t have an answer for RSL’s goal in the first half, leaving the score 1-0 at halftime.
Real Salt Lake hit the ground running again in the second half to extend their lead. In the 48th minute, they attempted a goal, but narrowly missed–the ball hit the right goal post. In the 50th minute, it took two Orlando players (including Bendik) to keep a ball out of the net.
To make matters less pleasant for Orlando, Bendik was issued a yellow card in the 52nd minute.
In the 56th and 57th minutes Orlando keep the pressure on in the box, but RSL remained stingy. The Lions were still scoreless.
By the 59th minute, Orlando’s El-Munir also received a yellow card, but the sting was relieved the very next minute by Dom Dwyer’s equalizing goal, thanks to the assist by Kljestan, making the score 1-1. RSL tried ride the wave and answer with an uncontested goal in the 61st minute, but Bendik kicked the ball out of the way.
By the 62nd minute, Orlando upped the score to 2-1 thanks to defender Lamine Sane’s head shot in, with the assist from Yotun. This marked Sane’s first career goal with Orlando City.
In the 70th minute, Orlando City subbed in forward Stefano Pinho for forward Chris Mueller. In the 73rd minute, Orlando’s Cristian Higuita was issued a yellow card.
Orlando’s Yotun scored in the 78th minute, bringing the score to 3-1.
In the 79th minute, RSL subbed Luis Silva in for Corey Baird. Two minutes later, Orlando did another sub of its own, bringing in Oriol Rosell for Yotun. RSL then subbed in Sebastian Saucedo in for Pablo Ruiz.
In the 87th minute, Orlando’s RJ Allen was subbed in for Justin Meram. A welcome change, considering that Meram, despite his tenacity, seemed to struggle in the post.
The Lions next have a Mother’s Day match at home against the current #1 MLS team, Atlanta United, at 6pm.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | email@example.com.