COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Orlando City SC continued their great run of form on Sunday afternoon, defeating Colorado Rapids 2-1. A second-half PK goal by Yoshi Yotun sealed it for the visitors as they frustrated the Rapids in the final 30 minutes of the game.
Yoshi Yotun PK Lifts Orlando City SC Over Colorado Rapids 2-1
The Rapids came out looking to use their speed to challenge the slower Orlando City defense. Colorado quickly got a series of three corners starting in the 17th minute. On the second corner, Shkelzen Gashi found the forehead of captain Tommy Smith, who headed it off the post.
Enzo Martinez and Jack Price all got looks before the 26th minute, when Dominique Badji opened the scoring. The No. 9 beat the off-sides trap as Martinez delivered a great long ball. He ran in on goal and beat goalkeeper Joe Bendik.
Orlando found their game in the final minutes of the first half. The best chance came in the 40th minute when Justin Meram dribbled through the defense and found Sacha Kljestian just inside the box. Kljestian fired a hard shot, but MacMath punched it out of harm’s way.
The Lions continued improving in the second half. After several good sequences, Cristian Higuita got the ball at the top of the box and beat MacMath with a high shot inside the post.
The match took an ugly turn as both sides started retaliating with fouls on and off the ball. That led to four yellow cards within a few minutes for Colorado and a dangerous collision between Will Johnson and Nana Boateng. The play was stopped immediately as Boateng had to be subbed out, walking gingerly off the field under his own power.
Orlando found a go-ahead goal in the 76th minute. Dillon Serna was called for fouling Yoshimar Yotun in the box. Yotun stepped up and scored to take the lead.
Colorado had a few chances in the final minutes, including a close-range shot by Serna but they could not score. The match ended 1-2.
Meram and Kljestian vs. Price: It took awhile for Meram and Kljestian to get into the game. While they helped with passing into the box, they had trouble getting the ball to Dom Dwyer and scoring for themselves. Once they got within 10 yards of the box, Price and company stopped them in their tracks. Others had to step up offensively, and they did in the end.
Gashi and Boateng ok out of position: Gashi and Boateng started in this game, both out of position. Gashi was in the center of midfield and Boateng started at right wing back. Both put in a good shift before being subbed out but could have done more. Gashi didn’t get enough touches in the attack and ran out of gas in the first half. Boateng stayed central. He didn’t track back or get forward as much as a wing back.
Physical play goes too far: Orlando City did a great job of getting in Colorado’s head with the fouling in the second half. That led to Rapids players fouling and earning yellow cards (fairly or unfairly). Things got out of hand with the Johnson-Boateng collision. The frustration also could have led to the PK that game Orlando their third goal.