Orlando City has not had a good history against Toronto FC. They are 5-1-1 against Toronto in their history. In those matches, Toronto has outscored Orlando 17-6. Last night proved to be no different.
Toronto dominated Orlando last night 3-1 in from of a crowd of 25,029 fans. This was Orlando’s 14th match in 22 days and it showed. They came out at the start with a lack of fire.
“Obviously disappointed to lose at home, first and foremost. Disappointed to go into a long break now, to have to feel the suffering of losing three points now for the next two weeks, ” Lions Head Coach Jason Kreis said.
Toronto is one of the stellar class teams of the MLS, and went right to work. Team USA star Jozy Altidore took a timely pass from forward Sebastian Giovinco to start the scoring in the 18th minute. Toronto has won 7 straight matches when either Altidore or Giovinco score.
Orlando did pick up the pace after a near miss and pressed for the rest of the half, but the Toronto defense kept their chances to minimum.
Beginning the second half, Toronto changed up their alignment, keeping eight men back, while Orlando brought in Rafael Ramos and Carlos Rivas to try to provide some energy for the squad.
At the start go the second half, Toronto took advantage again. Jozy Altodire got loose and instead of taking Joe Bendik head on, he tossed a pass to Giovinco on the left who put another shot into the Orlando net. This was straight off of the second half kickoff and only took 45 seconds.
Orlando became more aggressive as Toronto held back, milking time and defending. Kaka was pushing his team to show some intensity, taking on multiple players to try to crack the 8 man Toronto defense over and over.
Orlando finally hit pay dirt with a goal by Carlos Rivas, assisted by Kaka in the 63rd minute.
After a yellow card on Jonathan Spector in the 65th minute, Giovinvo blasted a curving free kick from the just outside of the box that went over Joe Bendik’s hand but struck the crossbar and ricochet’d straight down, belt missing goal number two. Toronto was up 3-1.
The match saw Richie Laryea make his third consecutive appearance. It also saw Rafael Ramos make his second appearance of the season when he entered the match in place of Scott Sutter in the 61st minute.
The talent of Toronto was evident throughout the match with USA Captain Michael Bradly steering ship and strikers Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco manning the front attack, they are hard to beat. But did they get some help?
Orlando coach Kreis complained about the lack of calls received by his squad, and made a point to note that the team received more calls when they are away as opposed to when they are home.
“I need to say that it’s beginning to feel like in this stadium, I know this from prior experience, but it’s beginning to feel like in this stadium we have referees that will not make critical calls for us for whatever reason. It appears to me that the referees are bending over backwards to show that they’re not going to show any bias. Perhaps it’s due to us having a raucous crowd or whatever it is but I’m tired of it. I’m absolutely tired of it and I have to say here tonight that I don’t think that we as a Club, as a fan group, as a coaching staff, as anybody else, that we should continue to stand for that. We go away and we feel like the away team by the referee’s decision on his 50/50 calls and we come at home and we still feel like the away team. I think it’s unacceptable.”
The MLS has not commented about his complaint as of this writing.
The Lions have two weeks until their next match on Friday, July 21, when 2017 expansion side Atlanta United FC visits Orlando City Stadium for a 7 p.m. ET kickoff.