Orlando City Soccer Club beat odds on the road
Team doesn't beat Montreal Impact, but 2-2 draw was reason to celebrate
MONTREAL – The Orlando City Soccer Club beat the odds Saturday, but did not beat the Montreal Impact. However, a 2-2 draw on the road was reason to celebrate.
The underdog Lions traveled north of the border for game No. 4 of their season, with only 15 available players. Their roster: depleted by injuries and international call-ups.
After falling behind 2-0 early in the match, Orlando City roared back, scoring two goals in a span of 70 seconds to draw even with Montreal by halftime.
The rest of the game was a defensive battle as neither team could muster many legitimate scoring threats.
"I honestly thought we were going to score again all evening, and I'm really delighted with the players' attitude," said Head Coach Adrian Heath, "I can't praise the players enough. It's been a difficult week for us with so many of the guys missing and this is a difficult place to come and play."
The impact put away their first goal in the 14th minute on a penalty kick, followed by a second goal in the 27th minute, taking advantage of an Orlando City defense out of position.
Perhaps that was the awakening the Lions needed. In the 28th minute, Luke Boden, a holdover from Orlando City's days as a USL-Pro League franchise, sent a cross for Kaka inside the box. The Brazilian superstar left it for Pedro Ribeiro, who scored his second goal of the season to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Just over a minute later, Kaka struck, scoring his second goal of the season which equalized the game.
"I thought we scored at the right time. It sort of gave us something to go for again because I thought we started quite hesitant, which was disappointing," said Heath. "But after we scored the first goal, I think we got a foothold in the game, and I was very pleased from there on after."
With the draw, the Lions return to Orlando with 1 point and a 1-1 & 2 record. Orlando City is back in action Friday at the Citrus Bowl against DC United.
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