KANSAS CITY, MO – Orlando City SC (7-2-4, 25 points) worked for a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City (6-5-2 20 points) on Wednesday night at Children’s Mercy Park. The win keeps Orlando’s record seven-match unbeaten streak alive, breaking their previous record of six straight unbeaten matches.
Tesho Akinele and Benji Michel hit the back of the net for the Lions, while Sporting’s Johnny Russell managed to bring KC closer to contention early in the second half.
“We’re very proud of the three points.” Said Lions Head Coach Oscar Pareja “The reason for the happiness that we have is that I think tonight we beat one of the best teams in the West. We know how hard it is to come here and beat Kansas [City] and get points. The first half just gave us a lot of optimism about winning the points and the game. Second half, Kansas City came out strong and I think it’s one of the things that we like the most. The effort that we had in order to have that presence in these last games and make the [inaudible], they deserve it and I’m very happy for them.”
Both teams worked to try and get their footing in the first 30 of the match, with Orlando going on to dominate the first half.
In the 36th minute, the speedy Ruan slid a pass in behind the Kansas City defense to an open Akindele, who put in in between goalkeeper Tim Mella and the side post.
Later, TWO Minutes later to be exact, Nani lofted a pass to Michel just outside the box. Michel beat a defender and blasted a shot past the charging Mella for the winning score.
In the second half, Sporting came out fighting. KC finally made some progress in the 53rd minute when Gerso received the ball on the left side of the goal and whipped the ball to the opposite post, where Johnny Russell headed it in.
From that point on, KC smelled bloody and kept the pressure on, working for an equalizer. Pedro Gallese held firm, even an incredible save on a Gerso strike from distance.
Orlando Moves on to face FC Dallas on Sunday September 27th, while Sporting heads to Colorado to face the rapids on the same date.