Sunday, April 7, 2013
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Dom Dwyer, Long Tan and Kevin Molino each scored for Orlando City as the Lions rallied to take a 3-1 win against Phoenix FC on Sunday night in front of 2,329 fans at at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. Phoenix had taken the lead through Diego Faria, but the Lions got back on even terms before halftime, with Tan and Molino scoring second-half goals to give Orlando victory in its season-opener.
Phoenix FC took the early lead when Aaron King took advantage of a giveaway and crossed to teammate Faria for a first-time finish in the 16th minute. The Wolves’ lead lasted less than 20 minutes, however, as Dwyer found the back of the net for Orlando City off a cross from the right by Jamie Watson.
Phoenix went close to regaining the lead in the 45th minute as Anthony Obodai shot just over the crossbar. Obodai, making his return after suspension, also had a good chance early saved by Orlando goalkeeper Jon Kempin, but the two teams went to the break tied 1-1.
Scott Morrison had an early second-half chance for the Wolves, hitting the crossbar with a long-range effort after a corner was half-cleared by Orlando, but the Lions made effective use of their substitutions later in the half and their speed took over. Tan, formerly with Major League Soccer's D.C. United, latched onto a good through-ball by Kevin Molino in the 68th minute, splitting the Phoenix defense before finishing to make it 2-1. Tan had come on in the 61st minute and ﬁnished with a goal and assist.
Orlando had the opportunity to extend its lead from the penalty spot in the 81st minute when Jamie Watson was brought down by Travis Bowen in the penalty area, but Phoenix FC goalkeeper Andrew Weber made an outstanding stop of Dwyer's effort to send the crowd of 2,329 into a frenzy and keep his side in with a chance of an equalizer.
Orlando would wrap up the game with three minutes to play, though, as Molino was played into the right side of the penalty area by Tan before driving home a finish inside the right post.
The match marked the debut of Phoenix FC striker Darren Mackie, a former Scottish Premier League star who was the ﬁrst player signing for the Wolves. Mackie, who had missed the first two games of the season with an injury, came on as a second-half substitute for the Wolves.
Phoenix FC next hosts the LA Blues on Sunday, April 14 at 6 p.m. PT at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. Orlando City also faces the Blues in its next contest, going west to California to play the Blues on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. PT at Titan Stadium in Fullerton.