FT LAUDERDALE, FL – Orlando City SC (13-14-6, 45 points) lost a 4-1 decision on Wednesday night to Inter Miami CF (14-13-6, 48 points) at DRV PNK Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale. The match had playoff ramifications.
By dominating and beating Orlando City, the Herons secure a spot in the MLS playoffs. With the loss, Orlando hangs on to possibilities as they move on to a must-win situation agains the Columbus Crew SC on Sunday at Exploria Stadium in downtown Orlando. The loss dropped Orlando into 8th position for the Eastern Conference.
Leonardo Campana opened the scoring in the very first minute, setting the tone for the evening as the Herons looked to establish their strength at home early.Gonzalo Higuaín proved to be themas of the night, causing havoc in thro Orlando defense and scored a brace for Miami with goals in the 38th and 52nd minutes. Ariel Lassiter completed the rout of the visitors four minutes later with a goal of his own.
Orlando’s Fucando Torres provided the attack for Orlando, setting up Ercan Kara for a goal in the 71st minute, keeping Miami from having a clean sheet.
Torres assist gave him the most goal participations in Orlando City, with 12 goals and 12 assists, Facu managed 24 participations, passing the record of 23 held by Nani. Other than that, it was a tough night for the Lions.
We’re pretty disappointed not to perform the way we should. In that part, I take the responsibility.” said Orlando Head Coach Oscar Pareja ” I felt we couldn’t recover today as well and then, after these couple days, we couldn’t get our energy back. After that, everything just came down. The first minute we concede a goal and our reactions were late but the boys have done a great job through the season, they have the [opportunity] to get into the playoffs at home. It’s on our shoulders, it’s our responsibility, we don’t need to wait on any results. We’ll fight for that. We’re going to fight for this jersey on Sunday at home.”
“Without a doubt the most important thing about this team is not only do they believe,” Higuaín said, “but they keep hope intact. We were aiming to reach this objective, but the most important thing is being able to give it all, because you can’t always win. There is only one team that can be champion; if not, futbol would be too easy. It’s a long season, and it’s a very tough road, but the hope is there. Seeing my teammates this happy and proud makes me very eager to give it my all.”
Miami is slotted in the number 5 playoff spot, while Orlando is below the line at number 8, just under the Columbus crew and Cincinnati, whoa re eat 7 and 6,
Orlando faces the Crew on Sunday in Orlando to determine on of the final playoff spots.