Orlando City (ORL) entered a rainy match with a 4-5-1 all-time record against New York (RBNY) and a 4-match win streak. With a final score of 1 – 0, Orlando’s winning momentum and Brian Rowe’s multiple incredible stops simply weren’t enough to rally the Lions to a victory over the Red Bulls.
The roar from the stands would let you believe the Exploria den was packed, although much of the stadium was left empty. Whether you attribute the crowd size to the stormy florida weather or the rank of 9 the Lions currently hold in the Eastern conference, it was clear the loyal audience of 22,408 was ready to clip the Red Bulls of their wings.
Match statistics should have left the Lions on top, but they were unable to land any of their four shots on target inside the box. Orlando had 18 shots on goal and 62% possession against New York’s 13 shots and 38%. Orlando’s 497 passes with an accuracy of 80% significantly bested the New York numbers of 299 and 68%. While there were no red cards, New York earned a pair of yellow cards by Daniel Royer (23rd minute) and Luis Robles (83rd minute). Chris Mueller was the only Lion to pick up a yellow card (28th minute).
“Obviously very disappointed. I think we felt the first 30 minutes, 35 minutes, we were off,” Orlando’s head coach James O’Connor said. He was expressing his frustration as his team clearly dominated the second half.
O’Connor continued, “Second half, I think we’ve absolutely bust, bust the game and completely dominated. Hit the woodwork whatever it is, three times, had some chances so we’re looking to get anything out of the game, but it’s obviously very frustrating when you have a game, especially when you have the ball bouncing off the crossbar and off the post, but it didn’t happen for us tonight.”
Orlando’s shot leaders, Johnson and Akindele each had two shots on goal with one on target. Brian Rowe had four saves. In the end, Rowe’s saves and the valiant attempts by the Lion’s offense could not overcome Brian White’s deflected goal off Keeper Brian Rowe in the 32nd minute. Orlando’s next match, at New England takes place on July 27th at 7PM ET.