Only seven minutes into the match between New York City and Orlando City, the scoring party seemed to be getting started. Cyle Larin recorded his third goal of the season with an early game header. Rafael Ramos provided the assist with a cross after some quality build up play in the midfield by the Lions.
Three games. Three goals. This @CyleLarin kid knows what he's doing. #NYCvORL https://t.co/aNjraq4ctM
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 18, 2016
But the spotlight wasn’t on Larin for much longer. Goalkeeper Joe Bendik shined under the bright lights of Yankee Stadium for the Lions. Bendik made six saves in goal, thwarting a potent offense.
New York City is one of the best attacking teams this season, and their relentless pressure kept Orlando City’s defense on its heels. They bossed the midfield with a dominating 66 percent possession. Andrea Pirlo played a quarterback-style role in the midfield and looked as though he had the key to Orlando City’s defensive castle. He found David Villa in the box with a clever chip in the 68th minute, but Villa fired off-target.
New York’s best goal scoring opportunity came in the 60th when David Villa played Mix Diskerud in on goal. This was the chance they were looking for, but Diskerud was denied by a strong Bendik left hand.
WOW @Jtbendik! What a save. #NYCvORL | 0-1 pic.twitter.com/d0HoaCAqlT
— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) March 19, 2016
New York City FC dictated the majority of the game, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Larin’s early goal proved to be the eventual game winner for the Lions.
Orlando City secured a crucial three points away from home. The momentum heading into the international break will be enhanced with the addition of Brazilian star Ricardo Kaka who is expected to make his first start of the season next time out. The Lions will rest up over the break before they return to action at home against the Portland Timbers on April 3.