ORLANDO, FL – Orlando City SC (10-6-8 38 points) dropped their second straight loss to CF Montreal (9-8-7, 38 points) at Exploria Stadium Wednesday night.
The match was a huge disaster as both team Captain Nani and defender Andres Pereya were booked with red cards and were sent off.
Nani was issued a yellow card in the 28th minute after a committing a turnover and trying to beat Joaquin Torres to it and ended up fouling him.
That was deemed questionable by the crowd and those in the press box, but it proved to be important as Nani committed a true yellow card foul in the 35th minute after another Nani turnover. Nani clipped Romell Quioto leading to him being sent off.
Orlando, though their starting 11 lineup looked strong, started the game a bit out of sync, but were the aggressor from the opening kick, but sloppy mistakes made things easier for Montreal.
Now they were down a man.
“First, I apologize (for) our performance to our fans,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said after the match. “Not just because the game became messy with all these incidents and things, but because we’re much more than that. But at the end, you have a coach and you have a leader who takes the responsibilities on the way we line up, the way we choose to play the game, and our strategies, and all those things and today it didn’t work.”
Montreal started the scoring of the game off, when Montreal made a push early in the match. Ruan positioned himself too far inside, leaving space for a quick pass outside and Quioto had plenty of space to send in a good cross. The ball sailed over Robin Jansson to Mathieu Choiniere, who headed it home for a 1-0 lead.
Directly after the Nani ejection, Montreal managed to make more noise with a Quioto goal of of the far post into the net for a 2-0 lead.
Orlando managed to get one back in the 40th minute after a free kick from Pereyra that Montreal’s Victor Wanyama mishandled, setting up Jansson for an easy delivery, reducing the lead to 2-1.
Orlando brought on Benji Michel for Chris Mueller at the half. Mueller had been subbed in in the 41st minute for Sylvester Van Der Water because he was hurt.
In the 63rd minute, Michel got loose on the left side and send a cross to Emmanuel Mas. Mas took too many touches and the ball was knocked away by Brault-Guillard and went right to Ruan for the equalizer.
Both goals scored tonight were the first MLS goals for Janssen and Ruan.
Montreal came back 10 minutes later when Quioto slid a nice low cross in to Lassi Lappalainen who tapped It in to restore Montreal’s lead at 3-2 in the 73rd minute.
In the 80th minute Ibrahim Sunusi flicked home a near-post cross from Mihailovic to make it 4-2, pretty much ending the game.
Pereyra was sent off for committing a tactical foul on a goal scoring opportunity for Montreal after a trip from behind. He drew the more sever red card because the attack was coming from the right, and Antonio Carlos was coming from center, but referee Rubiel Vazquez saw it as a lone challenge.
So Orlando was down to 9 men through to finish.
Montreal finished with more shots (15-7), shots on goal (7-3), corner kicks (9-0), and possession (59.7%-40.3%), and was the more accurate passing team (92.5%-84.8%).
This was a bad night for the Lions. Pareja too on the responsibility
“We can use it as an excuse of saying that we’re playing at first with 10 and nine and ejections and other things, but I didn’t like the way we were playing with 11 either,” Pareja said. “So, after that we played actually better. We cannot lose our mind. It’s something that’s happened to many teams in the league and this is our journey. We’re not we’re not going to lose our heads, for sure. We have to review and obviously try to see how can we find a way to be back (to) the team that we are. And definitely things need to be done and changes (need to be made). This needs to be evaluated for sure. It’s part of our job, and I take that responsibility.”
Orlando hits the road next for a pivotal Sunday afternoon match against the Philadelphia Union at 4 p.m.