ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – In a game that Orlando City needed to win to keep up with the rest of the Eastern Conference, City had to get a late goal from Scott Sutter to force a 3-3 tie on Saturday night. The tie now keeps the Revolution 6 points ahead of Orlando with 11 games to play in the regular season. Orlando still has one more head-to-head game against New England next month. MLS All-Star and Orlando City Midfielder Yoshi Yotun had 3 assists.
“Obviously delighted to get a point, especially so late in the game. But when you look at the supporters, when you look at the atmosphere the second half, the way the supporters kept chanting, kept pushing, kept driving us on, massive, massive thank-you to the supporters tonight because I think they’ve really helped us to come back into the game and get that point. Hats off to the whole Orlando City supporters groups because that was immense from them tonight to really drive us and help us get something out of the game.” -Orlando City Head Coach James O’Connor on the crowd in Orlando City Stadium
Even though City held the possession over 75% of the time in the opening 45 minutes, costly mistakes and turnovers gave New England the early lead. After Juan Aguelo scored his 7th goal of the season on a corner kick in the 7th minute, City’s Scott Sutter’s costly pass lead to Cristan Penilla’s 9th goal of the season to give New England a 2-0 lead in the 18th minute.
“We have to stop. We make it really difficult to go win the game when we’re 2-nil down after whatever it is, 20 minutes. It’s not like they’re fantastic goals. The goals we’re giving are from our standpoint, they’re really cheap. We put ourselves in a hole, 2-nil down.”- O’Connor on the team’s slow start
After Sasha Kljestan’s injury in the 38th minute and substitution in the 42nd minute, the Lions went on the attack and Dom Dywer put home his team leading 10th goal of the season right before halftime to give the home crowd something to cheer about. Kljestan went into the locker room and will be examined further on Monday, according to Orlando City Soccer Club.
That first half goal gave Orlando life and momentum as they entered the second half. City used the crowd and that momentum to control the opening 24 minutes of the second half and it led to the game-tying goal by Amro Tarek on a header that was deflected off both the post and the Revolution goalkeeper to tie the game at 2.
The Lions are now standing 8th in the Eastern Conference in a tie with Toronto FC. Orlando’s next game will be next Sunday against D.C United in the nation’s capital. Their next home game will be on August 22nd, when they take on Atlanta United at Orlando City Stadium.
NE – 7th min – Agueldo (7th of the season) scores off a weird corner kick that landed in the box and driven in the after the deflection.
NE – 18th min – Penilla (9th of the season) after a City turnover from Sutter allowed him to have space to put the ball over Edwards Jr. right shoulder.
ORL – 45th min – Dwyer (10th of the season) scores after Rocha made a perfect centering pass that Dwyer was able to put in the back of the net
ORL – 71 min – Tarek (1st of the season) scores on a header that bounced off the post and the New England goalkeeper.
NE – 78th min – Bunbury (11th of the season) uses a stepover dribble to beat his defender and his shot went through the legs of Edwards Jr.
ORL – 90th min (Extra Time) – Sutter (1st of the season) uses his head to redirect Yoshi Yotun’s free kick into the back of the net.
Danny Thompson is a sports contributor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org