By: Mandy Collins // @missmandybunz
New York City FC vs Orlando City SC
FT: 1 – 3
The MLS is Back tournament continued to enthrall supporters Tuesday night with yet another upset in the group stages. NYCFC, who finished first in the Eastern Conference last season, will be bowing out of the tournament at the conclusion of the group stage after losing 1-3 against Orlando City.
Kickoff was delayed by ten minutes, but extra rest wasn’t enough to get NYCFC together. In the first half, players looked confused and disorganized, unable to complete passes or produce a quality shot, a familiar sight to supporters. “Do we even have a front line?” asked Fabian, a supporter participating in a Zoom watch party.
Orlando capitalized on the chaos and was able to score two goals within ten minutes, in the 4′ and 10′, both by Mueller. An astounding goal in the 38th minute courtesy of Medina gave a bit of hope back to NYCFC players and supporters alike, and halftime bolstered their optimism for what was to come in the remaining 45 minutes.
The second half looked far more promising for NYCFC than their shaky start. The team was able to obtain possession more frequently and the completion of decent passes and shots made it seem like NYCFC could find the back of the net again.
A shot by Castellanos in the 77′ would have provided New York with their sought after equalizer, but it wasn’t meant to be. Orlando goalkeeper Gallese made the stunning save to deny New York. Shortly after, in the 81′, Orlando’s Akindele found the back of the net and sealed the victory for his team.
As a result of their two victories in the group stage, Orlando City will move forward to the knock out round after another match with Philadelphia Union on July 20th. NYCFC faces off with Inter Miami CF next, also on July 20th.
Featured image: MLS (Katie Cahalin)
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