Written by Rafael Morazzani
Orlando, FL – Orlando City SC won 2-1 against Toronto and broke the nine-loss streak in MLS matches. Defender Chris Schuler and Forward Dom Dwyer scored for the Lions while defender Nick Hagglund did the same for Toronto FC.
The first piece of action of the game came in minute seven when Schuler received a yellow card. In a dispute for the ball between Schuler and Toronto’s defender, Justin Morrow, the visitor was fouled. Despite being the first foul in the game, referee Allen Chapman decided to issue the first yellow card.
During the seventeenth minute, the Lions got their first opportunity when defender RJ Allen threw a fine cross into the box. Forward Dom Dwyer managed to head to cross, but the ball when wide.
Four minutes later, midfielder Yoshimar Yotún spotted goalkeeper Alexander Bono out of position and decided to shoot from the midfield. Even though it not ended in a goal for the home side, Bono had trouble retaining the ball and it went out for a corner kick. Nobody expected for Yotún to shoot from that far away, which made the crowd go crazy.
During minute twenty-four, the crowd witnessed another great chance from Orlando City. This time midfielder and captain, Sacha Kljestan, noticed midfielder Chris Mueller running into the box and threw a filtered pass. The youngster dribbled a defender and when in front of Bono, shot the ball over the top bar.
A minute later, Toronto had their best chance up until that point when Morrow ran into the box and threw a cross to forward Jordan Hamilton. The visitor passed the ball to forward Sebastian Giovinco who was behind him, but the Italian’s shot went just wide.
In the 31st minute, Dwyer stole a throw-in from the visiting backline and dribbled his way into the box. The U.S Men’s National Team forward shot with his left leg, but Bono’s reflexes kept the scoring in zero for the moment.
Three minutes later, the wilderness started at the Orlando City Stadium when Bono could not retain a shot from Dwyer. That is when Schuler jumped to head the rebound inside Toronto’s goal. The whole stadium could not believe that the recently arrived defender would open the scoring.
The first half ended with a scoring of 1-0 in favor for the home side. However, just three minutes into the second half were enough for the Lions to increase the scoring. Dwyer received a pass from Mueller in front of the box and, with a lot of space, turned and shot the ball to the base of the right-hand post of Bono’s goal. The forward did his usual flips to celebrate the second for Orlando City.
On the 55th minute, midfielder Tony Rocha received a horrible tackle from substitute Jay Chapman who received a yellow card. Rocha was substituted right-away for midfielder Dillon Powers for precaution.
The Lions’ goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr. became a superstar among the fans after saving a shot from Giovinco. The Italian managed to get a hold of the box inside the box, but Edwards Jr. sent the ball to a corner kick.
It is important to point out that this was Edwards Jr.’s first MLS appearance this season.
“We’ve got two excellent goalkeepers”, said Orlando City SC head coach, James O’Connor, when asked about the decision of benching goalkeeper Joe Bendik.
Toronto’s midfielder and captain, Michael Bradley, went into the books in the sixty-seventh minute after taking down Dwyer to stop a counter-attack.
Orlando City managed to cool down the game and prevent Toronto from creating more chances during the last minutes of the game. However, the Lions failed to do so on the ninety-second minute of the game when defender Nick Hagglund pushed a cross from Giovinco inside Edwards Jr.’s goal. Hagglund’s goal did not bring much to the game since there was not any reaction from the fans and the referee ended the game seconds later.
Orlando City SC starting XI: [G] Earl Edwards Jr.; [D] RJ Allen, Chris Schuler, Amro Tarek, Mohammed El Munir; [M] Will Johnson, Yoshimar Yotún; Chris Mueller, Sacha Kljestan (C) , Tony Rocha; [F] Dom Dwyer.
Toronto FC starting XI: [G] Alexander Bono; [D] Eriq Zavaleta, Nick Hagglund, Justin Morrow; [M] Marco Delgado, Ryan Telfer, Nicolas Hasler, Michael Bradley (C) , Jonathan Osorio; [F] Jordan Hamilton, Sebastian Giovinco.
Next Wednesday, July 18th, Orlando City SC will face Philadelphia Union for the U.S Open Cup Quarter Final at the Talen Energy Stadium. Meanwhile, Toronto FC will play the first leg of the Canadian Championship Semi-final against Ottawa Fury F.C. on Wednesday, July 18th at the TD Place Stadium.