Orlando, FL – Arsenal FC matched up against Orlando City in Exploria Stadium on Wednesday and after a fairly even fist half, managed to take over for a 3-1 win in the first round of matches in the 2022 Florida Cup Series.
Orlando, facing Arsenal FC in Orlando as Charlotte faced Chelsea FC in Charlotte, managed to put on a good showing in the first half.
The Lions showed no that they were not intimidated by the European powerhouse, and managed to keep possession 55%-45% in the first half, and had plenty of chances, but in the final 60 minutes of the match, Arsenal’s aggressive push proved to be too much for Orlando.
Arsenal opened the scoring in the in the match 5th minute, when Gabriel Martinelli was fortunate enough to take a deflection off of Orlando’s Antonio Carlos and send it past keeper Pedro Gallese for the opening score.
Orlando managed to get back into the game when Fecundo Torres took a ball from Antonio Carlos and blasted it in from outside the area for the equalizer.
Throughout the rest of the first half, the Arsenal squad was plagued by poor passing and off timed moves, while Orlando stayed sharp on defense and pushed the back ahead off of their side as much as possible.
Both teams took the 1-1 tied score into their halftime locker rooms.
With the start of the second period, both teams began to make substitutions, and in the 66th minute, Eddie Nketia managed to work with some of the fresher players to add more pressure on Pedro Gallese.
Nketiah managed to find a loose ball at the end off an exchange in the box and send it in, breaking the 1-1 tie.
In the 71st minute, Teshe Akindele created a great chance for Benji Michel in the box, But Michel tried to do a little too much for the score.
In the 80th minute, Arsenal was able to make the final score with another goal when Reiss Nelson managed to take a cross from Sara and send it home for the game winner.
In the end of the match, Arsenal managed to taking the side of possession, as well had a much greater control of the attack. The Gunners took more chances and had much stronger ball movement. They kept Orlando City on their heels and took away some of their confidence, making them a little less sure of key passes with better coverage.
“The boys were very excited tonight and had a great experience playing against such a great opponent.” said Orlando Head Coach Oscar Pareja ” We will go into our next game on Saturday with great confidence. I was happy to see a very enjoyable game for the fans against a fantastic rival. We brought the heat to Orlando and competed with them in front of our fans so that was really good.”
The next match in the Fc Series puts Arsenal against Chelsea on Saturday July 23rd at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.