ORLANDO, FL – Orlando City SC (6-5-3, 21 points) lost to FC Dallas 3-1 (7-3-4, 25 points) as the Toros took advantage of Orlando mistakes in front of 17,380 soccer fans at Exploria Stadium on Saturday night. It was the teams first loss in the last 7 games of competition.
In their third match in 7 days, the Lions once again take to the pitch after a loss to Austin FC last Sunday, and a win on Penalty kicks this week against Inter Miami CF in Lamar Hunt round of 16 play on Wednesday.
Ercan Kara managed o hit the back of the net in first half stoppage time for Orlando’s only score of the night.
Now Dallas comes to town, coming off of a loss to Minnesota at home, with Paul Arriola scoring their only goal.
But as the night wore on, the Toros managed to tally off three goals to seal the victory over weary Orlando.
With tired legs, Orlando Head Coach Oscar Pareja elected to start Pedro Gallese, Ruan, Kyle Smith, Robin Jansson, Moutinho, Mendez, Perea, Urso, Pereyra, Mulraney, and Kara, mixing up his usual line up for the week.
“Well, first is understanding that the boys did a great effort today.” said Pareja “Until [Dallas] scored the first goal, I thought we had a very good game and then lack of concentration in a couple of plays were. First one, on the first goal, we had the ball and then we gave it away and allowed something that Dallas knows how to do – just counter and have players in front [that are] dynamic. And then we conceded that equalizer that hurt us and then our reaction was not right, then we conceded a [third] goal as well. Overall I thought we fought, we pushed. A result that we don’t want but we have to accept because of the lack of concentration.”
Ersan Kara was named man of the match after heading in a Mauricio Pereyra free kick into the net in the 4th minute for the first score of the match.
Lately, the Lions star to lose steam after the 0th minute in matches, and Pareja did manage to say that he thought that their loss of concentration could probably be attributed to fatigue from the latest schedule.
Dallas was on a mission after coming out of their locker room in halftime break.
They pressed Orlando, at one point almost camping out in the Orlando area, but the Lions manage to fight off and prevent shot after shot, not conceding a goal in the initial minutes of the period.
Finally in the 67th minute, Paul Arriola got one through. Franco Kara spotted Arriola on the opposite side of the box, and sent a cross in, which Arriola tapped into the box the the equalizer.
Three minutes later, Jara was working towards the base line and managed to loop ball over Pedro Gallese that bounced and eventually crossed the goal line for Dallas’ second score, taking a 2-1 lead.
As Orlando continued to fade, Arriola struck again, taking a pass from Jesus Ferreira on the left wing, dribbling it into the area and firing it inside the post for the final score.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja made six changes to his starting lineup from Wednesday’s match, with Mulraney, Pedro Gallese, João Moutinho, Andrés Perea, Mauricio Pereyra and Ercan Kara all reentering the fold.
In addition to the Primeblue kits, both Orlando City and FC Dallas wore special remembrance patches to honor the victims of Tuesday’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The game started with a moment of silence, remembering those who had lost their lives in the tragedy.
The Lions head into an international break and will see nearly three weeks off from match play, returning to the field on Wednesday, June 15 at Gillette Stadium