The third installment in this series resulted in yet another victory by one goal, only this time it was Orlando that would get the result with a 1-0 win. They came into the match looking to make a statement and did just that by taking down the top team in the East, Orlando has pushed it’s unbeaten streak to five games now.
Similar to the Black-and-Red’s first trip down to Orlando, the home team fed off the energy and got off to a good start using their speed and creativity on the ball. Sustaining possession for long stretches in their goal of opening up the shell known as the D.C. defense.
First half was good for both sides, biggest difference was the PK awarded off the questionable call between Kemp and Ribeiro. United did struggle to sustain possession a bit, but Orlando is in a great rhythm at the moment and come at teams in waves with their speed and creativity.
As in the first matchup, Bill Hamid was a huge reason as to why Orlando couldn’t score in the flow of play. The pivotal play or controversial depending on how you view it, occurred in the 28th minute.
Pedro Ribeiro fired a shot on frame, Hamid was able to make a save, but not catch the ball. As the ball was deflected to the right, Ribeiro gave chase. D.C’s Taylor Kemp was running in hard to cut off Ribeiro and win the ball. Kemp left his feet in his attempt to clear the ball. In doing so, he made contact with the Orlando striker, who fell to the ground. The call was made and Orlando was given a penalty kick.
Their captain came up to take the kick, Kaka versus D.C’s Bill Hamid. The United keeper guessed right on the penalty kick as Kaka placed a low shot to the left corner of the goal (Hamid’s right). Bill made a great save, but the ball would pop up and Kaka headed it into the vacant net to put Orlando up 1-0.
As per usual, the visitors started to get things going in the attacking third right after they surrendered the goal. Before the end of the half, D.C. earned a corner kick. Fabian Espindola played the ball into the box, Perry Kitchen was definitely pulled down, without question as the commentators pointed out as well. There was no call and no one on the end of the pass as the intended recipient was on the ground, in the box. United would go into the half down one goal.
The second half played out like any other game the Black-and-Red have played this season when they were down a goal. They completely took over the game, keeping the ball in Orlando’s end of the field for much of the half. The home team did have a few opportunities off of counter-attacking situations, but thanks to Hamid nothing came to fruition.
Espindola definitely tried to create for teammates in the half, but he also took several long distance shots. All of which were on target, unfortunately for D.C, they couldn’t make anything of those chances.
In the three games this season and in this new series (Orlando is an expansion team), Orlando got it’s first win over D.C. United. The Black-and-Red don’t have much time to lick their wounds as they’ll be on the road again in two days to play the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the U.S. Open Cup before coming home to host the New England Revolution on Sunday.
Orlando has an Open Cup game on Wednesday as well, they’ll go on the road to play the Charelston Battery. On Saturday they’ll visit the Montreal Impact in hopes of continuing their unbeaten streak.