In an inopportune opening set at the fourth minute, Montreal claimed the first half with a goal to take hold of the Lions confidence in play.
The remainder of the half produced few opportunities for goals, compared to the second half, until the minutes prior to half time and left players with yellow cards to add to an increasing list.
Frustrations grew in players such as Brek Shea, who vented in kicking a ball into the crowd and aggressively challenging players, legally, when a stray ball would venture into the field.
Orlando City again went on the receiving end of five penalty calls but would see one call go in their favor.
After a disputed yellow card to the Lions’ Brek Shea, once a Montreal forward appeared to wrap his arm around Shea’s neck, causing him to stumble and then square up against the forward, the referee made up on a call to Orlando City.
Midfielder Ricardo Kaká would lead the granted penalty kick and rocket a shot to Cyle Larin and into the goal in the 43rd minute. Montreal head coach Mauro Biello noted the call should not have been a penalty after a replay displayed on the stadium video board, soon agreeing with his staff there was no turning back on the goal after the referee called for a foul.
Open spaces in the defense closed in, offensive opportunities opened to players such as Ricardo Kaká and Cyle Larin and corner kicks and penalty kicks came in favor for the second-year team in the second half.
The connection between Larin and Kaká has become evident game-over-game, when the Canadian sophomore and the international all-star find space for goal opportunities.
In the 55th minute, Kaká would short a pass to Larin who cleared Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush to the left of field. Larin attempted a shot from an oblique angle to the goal, having the ball close in on the far goal post but not cross the line.
Kaká again created an opportunity to rush center field but lost the opportunity on a legal tackle within the box. On a chance to redeem the short loss the midfielder led on two corner kicks, with both bouncing out and one on a b-line inside the net but meeting the top of a Montreal defender’s header.
Orlando goalkeeper Joe Bendik recovered the team on two fast breaks down the field to keep the tied game alive. Bendik swatted away two goals on jumps and later recovered the ball on a fast break with a slide into the defender.
Ten minutes and several potential tie-breaking opportunities later, the Lions broke free of Montreal’s slipping hold on a volley of shot attempts turned goal on another score by Larin from Kaká. Four passes between Orlando players down the center lane, with the sequence ending with Larin and Kaká, and Cyle would knock the assist into the top of the goal, erupting the thirty-four thousand fans in attendance at Camping World Stadium.
The final score after four minutes of stoppage time remained in Orlando’s favor at 2-1. The win breaks a brief winless streak and brings the team above the line into sixth place in the East.
Wednesday will see No. 1 Philadelphia face No. 6 Orlando at Camping World Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
Photo Credit: Aileen Perilla