WASHINGTON, DC (September 9, 2017) – Orlando City SC reinvigorated their playoff hopes on Saturday.
Via first half goals from Cyle Larin and Giles Barnes, the Lions got a gigantic 2-1 win on the road over D.C. United. The result puts an end to an eight-game winless run and gets them within two points of the final playoff spot for the time being.
Orlando City SC Ends Winless Skid With Huge Road Win Over D.C. United
Larin opened up the scoring in the 19th minute. The Canadian number nine did a great job combining with teammate Dom Dwyer in their fifth game on the field together since the latter joined from Sporting KC. He slotted home a well-placed cross from Dwyer who brought the ball into the box after receiving a direct ball from goalkeeper Joe Bendik.
The breakthrough from Larin, his 11th tally of the year, represented a return to goal-scoring form. He’s now knocked in three over his last five appearances after going eight games without a goal beforehand. It also marked Dwyer’s first assist for the club.
Nine minutes later, the road team doubled their advantage. This time, it was Giles Barnes to put his name on the score sheet for the third time in 2017. The Jamaican attacker took advantage of a big mistake from D.C. defender Sean Franklin, who completely mishit an attempted clearance. It came right to Barnes who nailed it past Bill Hamid eight yards from goal.
Orlando had to endure a harrowing second half en route to Saturday’s triumph. In the 79th minute, midfielder Servando Carrasco received his second yellow and was sent off by referee David Gantar. Ten minutes later, defender Kofi Opare took advantage of a Marcelo Sarvas cross that pinballed through the box and onto his feet before he put it past Bendik to halve the Orlando lead.
Then in second half stoppage time, D.C.’s man advantage doubled. Gantar showed a straight red to Orlando defender Seb Hines after he threw Lloyd Sam to the ground while the two were jostling for a ball. It was an ignominious end for the 29-year-old Englishman, making his first appearance of the year for the Lions.
Saturday’s result has to come as a relief for Jason Kreis. Not only was the embattled head coach in the midst of a lengthy winless run. Him and the club were also dealing with a major off-field distraction after Will Johnson was arrested Wednesday for a domestic violence incident.
The remainder of Orlando City’s matches will carry with them significant playoff implications. It begins next Saturday when they go on the road once again, this time against Atlanta United. Kickoff takes place at 3:55 PM with the game being nationally televised on Univision.