Friday, May 11, 2012
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua -- Orlando City took a second consecutive late victory as an own goal by Troy Dublin in the 89th minute gave the Lions a 1-0 victory against Antigua Barracuda FC at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Friday night. A low effort by Lions substitute Max Griffin after Jamie Watson’s initial shot was parried was turned into his own net by the Barracudas’ defender as he tried to clear to safety.
After playing three games in the past week to secure its place in the final stage of the CFU Club Championship, Antigua shook up its line-up to open the contest. Orlando commanded the majority of possession, Dennis Chin forcing a good save from Antigua goalkeeper Keita de Castro midway through the first half, but it was the Barracudas who went closest to taking the lead as they hit the post twice, the second effort by Ranja Christian coming just before halftime.
As the second half began, the home team tried to lift the tempo and had a number of opportunities to take the lead. Second-half substitutes Stefan Smith, Lloyd Jeremy, Akeem Thomas and Tamorley Thomas all played effectively, most of all Smith who was presented with a gilt-edged chance to put Barracuda ahead after good work from Orlando Mitchum, himself a first half substitution for Matthew Aldred, but he scuffed a good opportunity to give his side the lead, allowing the Lions to clear.
The Lions too continued to prove dangerous in attack, Watson’s turning shot from 12 yards out flashing over the crossbar. But the Lions were kept at bay until in the dying embers of the game, Griffin’s rebound effort was turned into his own net by Dublin, giving Orlando all three points and keeping them at the top of the USL PRO standings.
"This was a hard fought game for us and we can take a lot of positives out of this one for our next encounter," Barracudas Director of Football Fernando Abraham said. "It really could have gone either way, and considering we had some very tired legs out there, we are generally pleased with the effort of the boys."
The two teams are set to complete the weekend doubleheader this Sunday at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 4:30 p.m.