Molino adds two assists as Orlando takes 3-1 victory
USL PRO Game Report
Sunday, May 4, 2014
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Orlando City SC (5-0-2, 17 points) defeated OKC Energy FC (2-4-0, 6 points) 3-1 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Sunday night to move into sole possession of first place of USL PRO. The win marks the fifth straight in league play for City, as the Lions remain unbeaten this season.
Head Coach Adrian Heath was heavily critical of his side earlier this week, despite the Lions securing a 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the opening match of the I-4 Derby presented by United World Soccer. Directly after the Rowdies match, the English manager stressed that the result wasn’t enough and demanded a better performance from his side.
Although City didn’t quite get off to the quick start that Heath would’ve liked, the Lions settled in nicely as the first half progressed.
“I’m pleased with the performance,” said Heath after the 3-1 win. “They’ve worked hard and responded to a lot of the things that we’ve been talking about. There are a few areas of our game that are still worrying me but I thought that we did more than enough to win the game.”
The majority of the first-half featured both sides exchanging opportunities, with neither side able to breakthrough until Orlando’s first Major League Soccer (MLS) signing Kevin Molino created two quality chances towards the end of the first-half.
In the 32nd minute, Molino received the ball on the right-hand side and floated a lovely ball in the area to Dennis Chin, who out-jumped the OKC center-halves to nod the ball past his former teammate, Jon Kempin. Chin’s finish was the final product of an efficient counter-attack, as City only needed three passes to find the back of the net.
Less than two minutes later, Molino would get free on the right side again, after a poor giveaway from the Energy, and played a driven ball across the six-yard box for former Real Salt Lake City midfielder Yordany Alvarez who had a comfortable finish for the Lions' second goal of the match. The consecutive assists puts the Trinidadian tally at four for the season, as the midfielder inches closer to the club record, which stands at seven in one season.
Despite the Lions’ strong play, OKC also managed to create dangerous chances themselves and came close to converting on multiple occasions. The majority of the Energy’s looks at the City goal came from set-pieces that forced two tough saves from Gallardo and a goal-line clearance from Adama Mbengue.
However, OKC would pull one back in the 41st minute when Philip Lund scored from 12 yards away. The goal was the result of a dangerous ball that was played into the box and redirected by forward Steve Perry to Lund, who fired it passed Gallardo.
Orlando would hit back quickly at the start of the second half when Chin outran the Energy defense to score his fourth goal in the past five USL PRO matches. The speedy striker went on a 40-yard run with the ball before slotting home the final goal of the match in the 47th minute.
The Lions will now begin preparing for an upcoming two game road-trip, that includes back-to-back matches against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds this Friday night at Highmark Stadium, and the Rochester Rhinos on Saturday night at Sahlen's Stadium. Both matches will be live streamed via the Riverhounds’ and Rhinos’ YouTube channels.