The Orlando City Lions (3-1-0) defeated the New York Red Bulls (2-3-1) 1-0 in scrappy, well contested battle at Orlando City Stadium yesterday. Servando Carrasco scored what ended up being the game winning goal in the 17th minute with a header off of a perfectly placed cross shot from Will Johnson.
In all three of the home matches I thought a lot of the same things after the match. So many positive statements to make about effort level, intensity level, commitment of the players to defend,” Lions Head Coach Jason Kreis said. “Real, real signs of togetherness and just a fortitude that says, ‘We won’t be broken at home.’”
Carrasco had entered the game as a substitute for Antonio Nocerino who injured his calf in the first half. Coach Jason Kreis started the game by changing up his back line a bit as Scott Sutter made his first start after debuting last Saturday. Johnson moved into the right midfield and Cristian Higuita made his first start of the season.
Orlando’s high pressure defense kept the notoriously dangerous Red Bull scoring attack at bay. At one point in the 12th minute New York’s Bradley Wright-Phillips drove past two Orlando defenders, taped it towards goal. Bendik, who charged at him, managed to slow the ball down, but it was still headed towards goal until Jonathan Spector saved the day and cleared the ball left before it crossed the goal line.
Orlando’s Carlos Rivas and Cyle Larin and a good number of opportunities on goal. In the second half, Rivas made a nice combination play with compatriot Higuita but couldn’t settle a bouncing ball. Later, goalkeeper Joe Bendik sprung the counterattack with a great throw to Rivas, who drilled the ball from the corner flag to the far post but Larin’s attempt went inches wide.
Orlando City next faces the La Galaxy on Saturday April 15th at 3pm in Orlando City Stadium.