Saturday, April 28, 2012
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Orlando City’s perfect start to the season came to an end, but the Lions remained undefeated after playing to a 0-0 draw against the Richmond Kickers on Saturday night in front of 7,899 fans at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
Richmond’s attack created multiple chances early on, forcing Orlando goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo into a number of saves. The Torreon, Mexico, native found himself on his toes throughout the first half, making four saves in the first 45 minutes. In comparison, Gallardo made just seven saves in his first two appearances for City this season, but he would be forced to leave the match with a concussion during halftime.
Richmond’s best chance came in the 24th minute, but Gallardo came to the edge of his penalty to stop recent Kickers’ signing Christopher Agorsor, who was streaking down the field behind City’s defense to create a chance that could have easily tilted the match Richmond’s way. Agorsor’s initial shot rebounded right to him, causing Gallardo to scramble on his hands and knees. He recovered quickly enough to snatch the ball from Agorsor’s feet and end the attack.
The Kickers continued to press on until the halftime whistle, leaving Orlando with a lot to think about at the break as Richmond outshot Orlando by a margin of 8-to-3.
A club-record four substitutions were used at the start of the second half, along with a new formation that put fresh legs like Max Griffin and Dennis Chin in at the forward positions for the Lions. With the change, Orlando’s play dramatically improved, and momentum slowly started to shift in favor of the Lions.
The Lions’ best chance to take the lead came late on, though, when a 90th-minute corner from Kevin Molino fell into a crowded area in front of the Richmond goal. After multiple touches, the ball was cleared out, ending City’s chances at taking the three points and victory.
“Offensively we didn’t have too much life tonight," Lions coach Adrian Heath said. "I’m disappointed that we didn’t grab the win but a draw is a draw. We can do better than this.”
Orlando City will look to continue their unbeaten streak next Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. The Kickers will continue on the road next weekend as they visit the Dayton Dutch Lions at Miami Valley Stadium at 7:30 p.m.