Orlando City welcomed Toronto FC to Camping World Stadium on Saturday evening in need of three points, and the Lions got just that -- although OCSC supporters would have preferred to endure less stress en route to the 3-2 win. With another draw looking imminent, a Kaká penalty kick in the 10th (!!) minute of stoppage time gave Orlando a last-gasp victory, courtesy of a foul drawn by late sub Júlio Baptista.
The Lions started quickly out of the gate, generating a number of chances within the game's opening minutes.
At the two-minute mark, Adrian Winter was teed up in the center of the box by Kevin Molino, but the Swiss midfielder had his shot blocked by Damien Perquis. Just a minute later, Winter attempted an unsuccessful chip, but then the Lions capitalized on an opportunity immediately after in the fifth minute, when Cyle Larin put one top shelf to beat a diving Clint Irwin off a lovely through ball from Molino that traveled across the box from the 18-yard mark. The goal was No. 8 for Larin on the season.
The rest of the half was controlled by Orlando City, but the Lions were unable to capitalize on a few chances that would have padded their lead, the best of which was blasted off the post by Larin from about 15 yards out. Irwin was beaten on the play, but the woodwork prevented Kid Fantastic from notching a first-half brace and sent the Lions into the tunnel with a 1-0 advantage.
Toronto responded in the early minutes of the second frame, turning a Brek Shea giveaway into an equalizer via a nice bit of link-up play that set up Jordan Hamilton for a score from the left side of goal via a Jonothan Osorio assist. Suddenly City was looking at a 1-1 game despite controlling most of the first half and generating the majority of dangerous chances at goal.
Play continued with both teams creating a few chances, and Orlando City saw each of Molino, Larin and Kaká fire just off the mark within a 20-minute time frame. The Lions were a bit fortunate that Sebastian Giovinco didn't turn in a bit of magic around the hour mark after he deked a pair of defenders and shot just wide to the left, and Joe Bendik may have got a bit lucky that he wasn't whistled for a penalty after he appeared to grab Hamilton and help him to the ground in the box at 74 minutes to deny what would've been a clear chance at goal.
Orlando would once again show its penchant for scoring late when, in minute 83, Winter scored off a Molino cross from the right side of the box, using his head to give the Lions the 2-1 lead. A run into the area from Kevin Alston started the sequence, and the right back battled with backup keeper Alex Bono -- who came on for an injured Irwin around the 70-minute mark -- to keep the ball alive as the keeper went to ground, allowing Molino to make the play.
Unfortunately for the Cardiac Cats, they'd show their penchant for surrendering late goals just minutes later.
In a fashion reminiscent of their most recent home match against San Jose, Orlando let in a 90th-minute equalizer from Justin Morrow, who struck home a low cross from Osorio that crossed the face of goal and just escaped the sweeping right arm of Bendik. It seemed like yet another gut punch for Orlando and another heartbreaking way to drop two points in front of their home crowd, however...
Enter stoppage time.
Thanks to a lengthy injury timeout for Irwin, there were eight minutes of added time. With hope dwindling as the clock all but ticked away, Shea played a ball into the box to the chest of 78th-minute sub Baptista. As The Beast handled the ball off his chest, Toronto defender Josh Williams used his arm to pull the Brazilian down from behind, resulting in a red card for Williams and a penalty kick for Orlando captain Kaká.
Ricky calmly stepped to the spot and drilled his penalty kick, pinging it off the bottom of the crossbar and into goal, giving Bono no chance to make the stop. Just when it appeared Orlando would leave with its ninth draw of the 2016 campaign, the unexpected happened yet again and 27,818 City supporters chanted their way out of the Campground with delight.
It was an uncharacteristic way to drop points for Toronto, which had not conceded a goal in the final 15 minutes of a match all season coming into its showdown with Orlando City.
The Lions will take the pitch Wednesday in U.S. Open Cup action, hosting Ft. Lauderdale Strikers. The next MLS match takes place on July 4 at FC Dallas at 9 p.m. ET, with the TV broadcast set to go on TV 27.