Sunday, April 14. 2013
ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando City began its home schedule in winning style Sunday night, topping the visiting Rochester Rhinos 3-1 at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl. The Lions (2-1-0) and Rhinos (0-2-0) had to withstand a combined two hours of stoppage due to severe weather in the area as Orlando took home its second win of the young 2013 USL PRO season.
“I was confident that if we scored the first goal we’d be OK,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “I love playing in the rain because the pace of the game picks up, so besides the wind I thought the conditions were fine.”
A steady rain came down on the field at the start of the game, making for a fast-paced match between the two clubs. In the 13th minute, Orlando got their first scoring chance of the game as Dom Dwyer found 2012 USL PRO MVP Kevin Molino behind the Rochester backline. Molino’s effort went off the right post after Rhinos goalkeeper Kristian Nicht was lured out of his box due to the danger, with the pressure from Orlando continuing through the beginning of the first half.
But as the rain continued and thunderclouds began to roll in, the match was postponed due to severe weather in the area in the 21st minute. The break lasted a total of 56 minutes, with the match resuming at 7:24 p.m. only to be postponed again minutes later. The game finally got underway at 8:30 p.m., totalling close to a two-hour delay.
When play finally resumed, Orlando continued their strong pace of passing and possession. Midfielder Jamie Watson nearly capitalized on a chance in the 37th minute, finding an open lane just outside the 18-yard box, Nicht getting down to save well. The attacking continued, with it paying off for the Lions in stoppage time. After Molino followed up an attempt from Dwyer, Tan found the rebound, blasting his attempt past Nicht for the 1-0 lead.
The Lions didn’t let up in the beginning of the second half, jumping on the Rochester backline to score soon after the break. Bryan Burke placed a cross to a charging Dwyer, who easily slotted home his second goal of the season in the 47th minute to give Orlando a 2-0 advantage.
Watson continued the scoring for Orlando in the 62nd minute, cleaning up a loose ball in the Rhinos’ box for the 3-0 advantage. Rochester scored in the 90th minute of play as Blake Brettschneider lofted his shot up and over Orlando goalkeeper Jon Kempin. The goal proved only a consolation, however, with the Lions taking home the victory 3-1.
Orlando continues home play this Friday night against the LA Blues. Orlando has already played the California-based squad this season, falling 1-0 on the road in Fullerton, Calif. Blues’ Forward George Davis scored the lone goal in the 80th minute for LA, propelling them to the home win. The Lions are 2-1-1 all time against the Blues in four meetings between the two clubs.