CONCACAF journey ends for Orlando City after fiery 1-1 draw against Tigres UANL

ORLANDO, FL – Orlando City SC faced off against Tigres UANL of Mexico in their second match of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League tournament.

Tigre came right out of the box with aggression against theLions, pressing nearly every ball, challenging and winning on many 50-50 chances, and hitting the first goal of the match, taking a 1-0 lead into the locker room at the half.

Tigres outshot Orlando 20-8 in the first half, dominated the time of possession at first, but as the Lions pushed back later in the game, the possession ended the half at 54-46.

In the 21st minute, Orlando’s Luca Petrasso got caught watching the ball, and Tigres’ Sebastian Cordova easily put on past Pedro Gallese. Lions now needed at least two goals to advance to the quarterfinals.

Orlando managed to make a push late in the game, after pushing their way through Tigre’s various methods of stretching the game and taking up time.

Pedro Gallese had another heroic effort for the Lions, with seven solid saves, including two key saves late in the match to keep Orlando alive.

There was a lot of chipiness, Tigre players getting in the face of Lions players in between plays, standing over the ball after fouls and on free kicks, all in an effort to extend the clock.

Orlando did get a good chances late in the match, but the breakthrough came in the 90th minute.

Orlando was on the attack and leveled the match after a headed attempt from City defender Rodrigo Schlegel was saved off the line by a Tigres defender. As the ball floated in the air, Ercan Kara turned his body, left his feet and connected with a bicycle kick, sending it past a diving Nahuel Guzman and into the back of the net.

With the draw, Orlando pressed for more, but the delay tactics intensified. Guzman remained splayed out on the pitch after gathering the ball for a save.

After the Kara goal, Tigre player refused to relinquish the ball as Orlando tried to place it on the center spot to be-start play. They almost came to blows in the goal as the battle to hold the ball took up more time.

Orlando scored in the 90th minute, and there was an announced five minutes of stoppage time. According to Lions Coach Oscar Pareja, there was 4:50 with no play in that time, and no extra time was added to stoppage time by the officials.

He had something to say about that after the game.

We scored in the 89th minute and in between the 89th minute and 96th minute and 45 seconds,” Said Pareja “In that part, it was four minutes and 50 seconds that they did not play the game, or they didn’t allow us to play the game. Whether it was because the goalkeeper wasn’t playing, not restarting, substitutions and the celebration of the goal. They need to understand that. We saw it in the World Cup. You give five minutes but if they are wasting time, they need to add more time. That is what I am saying. Listen, we are respectful, and I want to say it again, but we are not stupid. We are not. We are competing. We are competing and they need to realize that. The match was between two teams that were very feisty, and it was a great game.”

Pareja stormed the field after the match was called. He was furious, and went straight to the official infield. His players had to hold him back.

Pareja was issued a red card for his actions.

He addressed his players after the loss.

“We are proud of the effort that we showed in the game. Obviously, emotions are there as it is much better to wait and calm down and other things. The message was short, just expressing our pride for the effort that they made during the game. They played against a good rival, and we were there. We will go on, but we were upset as well. I know the players were upset with what had happened in the last seven minutes. Obviously, we are not bad losers. We are respectful, but we are not stupid. Congratulations to Tigres, it is a Club that I respect a lot, but we played hard.”

Orlando City next faces Charlotte FC on Saturday March 18th at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, FL.






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