Second-half goals from Hadji Barry and Pedro Ribeiro helped Orlando City down the Fort Lauderdale Strikers to the tune of a 2-0 win at Sylvan Lake Park on Wednesday.
The Lions, using a lineup mixed with first team and Orlando City B players, matched up evenly with the NASL side through the first 45 minutes before breaking through twice in the second half to capture the preseason victory.
While Orlando City controlled the pace and possession for most of the afternoon, the Lions found trouble getting the ball into the back of the net. In the third minute, Barry forced a turnover at the top of the penalty area, putting the ball at his feet with just the goalkeeper to beat. Barry's shot rocketed off the post and straight back into the hands of the Fort Lauderdale goalkeeper who was down on the turf.
Barry wouldn't make the same mistake twice, capitalizing in the 57th minute when he worked through several Strikers defenders to fire a shot on goal, this time flying inside the right side of the post.
Kevin Molino continued his comeback with a start against the Strikers, playing the entire first half before being subbed out at half time. Molino gave the second-division team plenty of fits from the get go, drawing fouls, whipping around defenders with his speed, and setting up good opportunities for Orlando.
One of the Trinidad and Tobago star's highlight moments would have been in the 23rd minute, when he blew past a defender to reach a perfectly placed through ball down the sideline from defender Kevin Alston before sending a cross into the box that was eventually cleared away.
Earl Edwards Jr. didn't see much action in goal for the Lions. His first real effort of the match came in the 28th minute, when he made a crucial 1-on-1 stop from close range to keep the game scoreless.
Hardly six minutes after Barry put the Lions on the board, it was Ribeiro, who entered the game in the defensive midfield replacing Devron Garcia to start the second half, that doubled Orlando's lead. The Brazilian finished off a low cross to the middle from Tony Rocha, who received Luke Boden's through ball before cutting back towards the middle of the box near the touchline to pick up the assist.
After getting out relatively unscathed -- Garcia may have picked up a slight concussion after banging heads with a Strikers player in the first half, and Ribeiro picked up an ankle knock -- the Lions will regroup for training at the Citrus Bowl on Thursday ahead of their final preseason match on Saturday night against Brazilian club Bahia.