LAFC continues winning ways with 3-1 win over Orlando City

ORLANDO, FL – On a humid Saturday night, Orlando City SC (4-9-5, 17 points) lost to LAFC 3-1 in a game that was a tale of two halves. Orlando, in front of over 22,000 fans (including former Lion Luis Nani) at Inter & Co Stadium, was full of energy in the first half, even after missing a penalty kick but scoring an equalizer. But the home scoring struggles continue.

The second half was all LAFC, with Orlando fighting to fend them off.

LAFC came into Orlando looking for its sixth straight shutout victory on Saturday, while Orlando was coming off a bye week. They have outscored opponents 9-0 in this recent run.

Orlando was playing without keeper Pedro Gallese, David Brekalo, and Wilder Cartagena, who were all on international duty.

Orlando was strong in the first half, moving the ball well in the midfield, and occasionally coming out with a chance at a goal. The Lion’s defense was solid in the first half at thwarting LA challenges.

In the 12th minute, there was a scrum with Orlando short passes in the area, resulting in Nicolas Lodiero getting an open look. His curving shot sailed over the crossbar, just slightly too high.

In the 32nd minute, Facundo Torres was tackled in the left side of the box for a foul, resulting in a penalty. Torres took the PK but wound up sailing it over the crossbar into the crowd.

It was the first ever PK miss for Torres. He had never missed a penalty, nor had one blocked, including his youth soccer matches.

In the 44th minute, César Anjulo tackled an LA player in the box, resulting in a penalty. Dénis Bouanga’s penalty kick to the upper left corner was good, giving El Trafico the opening score.

After 4 minutes of extra time, the first half ended. LA 1, Orlando 0.

In the second half, Orlando lost energy. LA, on the other hand, seemed to gain energy.

LA was in attack mode, going after every ball and charging every Lion player after each pass, forcing quick decisions on Orlando’s side.

LA played the strategy of stacking the defense and playing off the counter and managed to take advantage of speed as the play continued.

In the 69th minute, Luis Muriel chipped a ball in the box over a defender’s head. Substitute Marin Ojeda was one-on-one with LA keeper Hugo Lloris. Ojeda was able to get a shot past Lloris on the right side for the equalizer.

“No more words at this time,” said Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja. “I recognize that we were superior. We put in the energy and outplayed them. But that’s not enough. In this industry, you have to win games, and to win games, you have to score goals. We apologize to our fans for not winning games at home.”

In the second half, the Lions were looking for extra passes to try to find an opening for a clear shot. After a while, they started to lose confidence.

LAFC took advantage of Orlando mishaps and used their speed to beat Orlando upfield on the counter, setting up one-on-one shots against backup keeper Mason Stadujar.

Orlando had 19 shots but managed only 1 shot on goal in the match.

In contrast, LA had 12 shots, and seven shots on goal.

Pareja saw the shortcomings in play and blamed himself, saying a lot of the errors in play were coaching issues. These were things that they worked on this week, and he said that they will continue to work on them going forward.

Orlando travels to Charlotte this week to face Charlotte FC at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC on Wednesday June 19th at 7:30 pm.

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