Tuesday night in Montreal, the USWNT played arguably their best game of the 2015 Women's World Cup, defeating the No. 1 team in the world, Germany, 2-0, thanks to goal from Carli Lloyd and Kelley O'Hara. Oh, and over 1,400 miles south, Orlando City played in a soccer match you probably didn't watch.
For the second time in club history, Orlando City moved on to the quarterfinals of the 2015 U.S. Open Cup with a 2-0 win over the Columbus Crew in front of a sparse crowd of 13,684 at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. Though small for Orlando, it was the second largest U.S. Open Cup crowd of the season.
"The support in this city is ... stupid -- and I mean that in the best way possible," said goalkeeper Tally Hall after the match.
Kaká and Carlos Rivas both scored for the Lions, who now stand just three wins shy of the Open Cup crown and a spot in the 2016/2017 CONCACAF Champions' League.
The win also extended Orlando City's unbeaten run at home to seven matches across all competitions, dating back to the 4-2 win over Ponte Preta.
"As per usual, delighted to get through any cup tie," said Head Coach Adrian Heath after the match. "Win and advance. I'm pleased to do it against a very good team, a very well coached team, I have to say. They ask you questions all evening and you have to come up with the answers."
Coming off five days of rest with another MLS match-up not until this Saturday, Orlando City fielded its normal starting lineup with the exceptions of Brek Shea (groin injury) and Cyle Larin (national team duty), against a Columbus side that was not-so-close to full strength after two MLS games last week.
Surprising, though, it was Columbus that came out as the better team in the early going, somewhat catching Orlando City off guard with their quick play and constant break ups on passes in the midfield. While both teams had their chances early on, the Crew came closest to scoring in the fourth minute when Adam Bedell bounced a headed shot off of the post, keeping things scoreless.
Consistent with the first two meetings between the Crew and Orlando City this season, things were also very chippy in the early going. Cristian Higuita and Seb Hines, within a minute of each other, picked up yellows.
In the 20th minute of play, Rivas was fouled by Columbus midfielder Chris Klute just outside of the top-left corner of the penalty area. Kaká's free-kick into the box found the head of Sean St. Ledger at the back post, who slotted it into the back of the net, but the goal was waived off due to an offside call.
Moments later, Darwin Ceren picked up a loose ball in the midfield and found an open Kaká at the top of the penalty area. The 33-year-old Brazilian had no problem calmly firing a shot into the low-right corner of the goal, putting Orlando City up 1-0.
Just 14 minutes later, the ball found Pedro Ribiero outside of the penalty area. The big Brazilian forward tried taking on three Crew defenders, before the ball was rattled away from him, setting up a shot for a charging Rivas, who absolutely demolished a shot into the upper-right corner of the goal, doubling Orlando City's lead to 2-0.
After his penalty-kick hat trick against the Charleston Battery a few weeks ago, Rivas is now tied with Sacramento Republic's Thomas Stewart for the most goals in this edition of the Open Cup, with four.
Two goals is nice, of course, but even just one proved to have been enough for the Lions, who defended well enough for the next 55 minutes to blank the Crew for their third consecutive shutout at home.
Columbus' Kristinn Steindórsson gave his team a couple of good chances at getting on the board to start the second half, sending a decent shot wide over the bar in the 46th minute, and seconds later putting a chip shot over the head of Tally Hall, who was saved by an incoming St. Ledger, who headed the ball off the line as he crashed into the net.
"It's the save of the season," Hall said of the defender's last-minute deflection.
The Lions' next Open Cup match-up will be played on the road against the Chicago Fire on either July 21 or 22, which will be determined by Thursday. Orlando City returns to league play this Saturday with a night trip to Rio Tinto Stadium to take on Real Salt Lake at 10 p.m. ET.