The Orlando City Soccer Club fought rain, self doubt, and, at some points in the match, the ref’s to defeat DC United 2-0 in front of a crown of over 24,ooo fans at Orlando City Stadium .
In what seemed like a reversal of the recent drought here in Orlando. Rain poured down for most of the match as the Lions fought to end a 5-game losing streak which included it’s first loss in their new “Purple Palace”.
Cyle Larin drove home his eighth goal of the season after a scoring drought for the Orlando striker. A perfectly placed free kick by midfielder Will Johnson set up Larin with a timely header for the goal in the 65th minute. That goal turned out to be the game winner.
“Even though I scored, it was a foul,” Larin said after the match. “I saw the replay – there was a couple plays before that kept leading up to it. I was being held the whole game, and I just kept playing through it.”
in the 8th minute’, Forward Giles Barnes added to the score with a solid kick straight at DC goalie Bill Hamid. Hamid had the ball in his hands, but the we conditions caused the ball to slide through his grip and into the net, giving Barnes his first goal as a member of the Orlando City squad.
A stunning defensive play happened in the 74th minute. An errant back pass by Aja was intercepted and Lamar Neagle took a touch past Bendik. “It happened pretty quickly. [Lamar Neagle] went around Joe [Bendik] when Joe had come out of the box big.” Said defender Jonathan Spector “I went to the goal line to make a play. Fortunately, I was in the right place at the right time. The ball hit my thigh, went straight up in the air.” The rebound went straight up and in the air with two DC united players ready to tap it in. Joe Bendik recovered and flew in to keep a sure goal out to preserve the lead. Look for this play on Sportscenter.
The Orlando City fans deserve special congratulations. From start to finish, through torrential rain and some tight play, the fans continue to cheer, sings, and yell, pushing the Lions. On the march to the stadium, the Orlando fans held a silent march in support of the victims of the recent Manchester attack. Several UK Union Jack flags waved throughout the match as they cheered for Orlando City.
Orlando leaves this match with a 7-5-2 record and are now 6-1-1 at home. The Lions next face the Chicago Fire on Sunday June 4 at 7:30 pm.