Saturday, May 5, 2012
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Orlando City used three second-half goals to capture their fourth victory of the season as they defeated the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 3-2 on Saturday night in front of 6,722 fans at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Ian Fuller scored what proved to be the game-winning goal with two minutes to play as the two teams combined for four goals in the final 11 minutes.
The first half was very much a defensive struggle. Both teams’ defenses held strong throughout the first 45, not allowing either attack a real opportunity to develop a scoring chance. The closest Orlando came to opening the scoring occurred in the 27th minute, when after a series of passes Anthony Pulis narrowly missed the right post with a strike from outside the Pittsburgh penalty area.
If the first half was a defensive struggle, the second couldn’t have been more opposite. Brought on as a halftime substitute, Orlando’s Dennis Chin scored the opening goal with a superb solo effort in the 68th minute. After receiving a pass from Mechack Jerome, Chin proceeded to take on Pittsburgh’s defense by himself. The Oviedo native sold a run to the left toward midfield, turning the Riverhounds defender around and out of his way. Chin then slotted the ball past Pittsburgh goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap, giving Orlando the 1-0 lead midway through the second half. The boost was something Head Coach Adrian Heath said was vital to his team.
“It certainly picked up our pace,” Heath said. “I was pleased for Dennis [Chin] and I think it really helped swing the momentum our way.”
In the 79th minute, Orlando defender Wes Allen knocked in an own goal after a cross attempted by Pittsburgh’s Agustin Nunez. It marked the first time in Orlando City history that an own goal was conceded. But just a minute later, the Lions responded with a strike of their own. Ian Fuller, who came on as a substitute for Matt Luzunaris earlier in the second half, led a streaking Charlie Campbell, who notched the second goal for Orlando.
Pittsburgh didn’t go down without a fight, though, as Matt Kassel scored a goal for the Riverhounds in the 85th minute to tie the game again, 2-2. Moments later, though, the fireworks continued, when Kevin Molino found Fuller alone in the penalty area in the 88th minute. The Lions’ player/coach had a clear lane in front of him to score what would prove to be the game-winner.
“I think we responded well tonight,” Fuller said. “I know defensively we can fix a few things but we’ll take the win.”
Next weeked the Lions travel over the Atlantic to face Antigua Barracuda FC in a back-to-back series held on Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET on Friday and 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday. Orlando City holds a 2-1-0 record all-time against Barracuda FC, with the two wins occurring in a back-to-back series held in Antigua in late June of 2011.