The Orlando City Soccer Club battled valiantly but could not overcome mistakes in play to defeat the Eastern Conference’s top team Toronto. The Lions lost by a score of 2-1 in an energetic and hard fought performance last night at Camping World Stadium.
In the 7th minute, reigning MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco caught the Orlando City sleeping and with a throw in, found Tosaint Ricketts in behind the back line. Ricketts fired a shot around goalkeeper Joe Bendik for the opening goal.
Orlando City put the pressure on in search of the equalizer and almost found it just two minutes later when Kevin Molino, who made his first start since July 31, flicked a ball in for Larin. The young Canadian flicked a right-footed shot just wide of goal.
The Lions found the equalizer in the 56th minute when Luke Boden, who made his return to the starting lineup, lofted a ball for Larin inside the box. Larin headed the ball off the inside corner of the post, across the goal and over the line for the equalizer.
Toronto scored again in the 87th minute as Jozy Altadore streaked through the Orlando City defense to strike gold against Joe Bendik by circling around him as he dove for the ball.
Larin struck the same corner again in the second minute of added time. His right-footed shot from distance struck the outside of the post, though, and out of bounds.
Orlando City kept pressure in Toronto’s third of the filed from the start of the match, but could not come up with a goal to tie things up.
“It’s a night where I thought we did some really nice things. I’m still seeing improvements, I’m still seeing positive signs that we’re headed in a good direction. Obviously against a team like Toronto, they took some chances. They’re a quality team. They can put you under it for a bit so credit to them,” Head Coach Jason Kreis said. “But I think we did enough in this game that we earned a point. Unfortunately we didn’t get it but on a different night I think we do get it.”
The Lions have a quick turnaround as they next face 2015 expansion rival New York City FC on Sunday, Aug. 28, at 7 p.m. ET.