Clinical Mueller leads Orlando City SC past deflated NYCFC

Chris Mueller Orlando City
Reunion, FL — July 14: Chris Mueller #9 of Orlando City SC celebrates a goal with his teammates during a Group A match against New York City FC as part of MLS is Back Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on July 14, 2020 in Reunion, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images).

Orlando, Florida — It was a beautiful day at the office for Orlando City SC, who dominated group favorites NYCFC 3-1 on Wednesday. 

Orlando Pounced Early

The goals came quick and often for Orlando behind the back of Chris Mueller, who continues his spectacular start to the tournament.

The first came four minutes in when Joao Moutinho whipped in a set for Mueller to finish in front of a high NYCFC line. Mueller would double the advantage just six minutes later on a layoff from striker Dom Dwyer. The early Orlando surge was the quickest the lions had scored two goals since they began MLS.

NYCFC surge not enough

Following a hydration break in the 30th minute, City showed rejuvenated energy. This was highlighted by a fantastic strike by Jesus Medina to halve the Orlando lead in the 38th minute. An uptempo City was dominant in the first half following the goal but was unable to equalize.

A similar fate followed the pigeons in the second half. NYCFC had consistent chances, but weren’t unable to find the back of the net. This was evident in the 78th minute when NYCFC winger Tati Castellanos had a clear eye at goal. However, an in-form Pedro Gallese halted Tati’s chance. Gallese’s five saves were crucial in keeping City out of the net in the 2nd half.

Orlando Finishes it off

The icing on the cake was put on in the 81st minute when super-sub Tesho Akindele netted the dagger following a rebounded shot from Benji Michel. The goal highlighted City’s struggle to contain Nani throughout the match, who set up the eventual third goal.

The victory gives Orlando six points from two matches, virtually guaranteeing them a spot in the knockout stages. With NYCFC on 0 points two matches in, it leaves a nearly impossible route to the next round.

 

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