Mar 6, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; The crowd reacts at the start of the second half of the match between Orlando City SC and Real Salt Lake at Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Late Drama in the Lion’s Den – Orlando City vs. Real Salt Lake

Orlando City found themselves down two goals in stoppage time in their season opener against Real Salt Lake in Orlando on Sunday.

“So you’re saying there’s still a chance!”

With the backing of 60,147 fans in attendance at the Citrus Bowl, the Lions clawed their way back into the game with what seemed as just a consolation goal by Cyle Larin in the 94th minute. Brek Shea crossed the ball into the box which was greeted by a clever chip shot by Larin.

2-1 – Real Salt Lake up.

A minute later, a hopeful long ball played from the back found Orlando City Lion Adrian Winter waiting to smash in the equalizer.

2-2 – Final whistle: Draw.

This game had everything you could’ve asked for in a soccer match; two red cards, gritty challenges, a penalty, a thrilling two goal comeback, and of course a packed Citrus Bowl.

The first-half was nothing short of physical. Real Salt Lake defender Demar Philips picked up a second yellow card after a few crunching tackles and then Orlando City midfielder Darwin Ceren saw a straight red after an apparent elbow to Salt Lake’s Javier Morales’ head.

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

In the 26th minute RSL was awarded a penalty after Orlando City defender Seb Hines mistimed his challenge on Yura Movsisyan, taking him down inside the box. Joao Plata converted from the spot, the first of two goals for him in the game.

Despite not fielding star Ricardo Kaka due to injury, Orlando City looked bright in the opening moments of the game. At the eight minute mark Cyle Larin slotted the ball into the back of the net. The Citrus Bowl burst with excitement believing they have witnessed the first goal of Orlando City’s 2016 campaign only to see the linesman put his flag up for offsides.

The Lions looked to bounce back using the wide areas of the pitch as their avenue of attack. Crosses were continuously whipped in by Rafael Ramos on the right, and Luke Boden on the left. As the game rolled into the later stages, Orlando grew more and more frustrated resorting to long over-the-top passes hoping to force a goal. This led to the eventual dramatic moments.

And to an improbable 2-2 tie for Orlando!

About Josh LaSelva

Originally from Ocala, Florida. University of Florida Class of 2017. Avid FIFA player willing to beat anybody. Follow me on Twitter for everything you need to know!

Check Also

The MLS is Set to Return: Western Conference Preview

Major League Soccer returns Saturday after a three-month break. Defending MLS Cup winners LAFC look …