Only one goal was needed for Orlando City to claim its third victory of the Major League Soccer season. The Lions held on in the second half as the New York Red Bulls were frustrated in their attempts to find an equalizer.
Undefeated at Home
Sunday’s win gives the Lions a 3-0 record at Orlando City Stadium thus far. Two of the three wins are clean sheets for Joe Bendik, as the goalkeeper is off to a fine start in 2017. Although every victory is by a one-goal margin, the Lions can only benefit from such a strong home record as the season progresses.
Defense Grinds Out Result
It wasn’t a very offensively dominant match for either side as they tied with 12 shots apiece and the Red Bulls had only one more shot on goal than City. However, that didn’t mean the defense wasn’t tested. Jonathan Spector and Tommy Redding did a fantastic job stepping up in the absence of Jose Aja. Redding had eight clearances and Spector added five clearances in the match. Spector also saved a goal in the 12th minute when he cleared away a shot from Bradley Wright-Phillips.
The Counter Attack
The Lions exposed the Red Bulls’ defense in the first and second half on the counter attack. Cyle Larin had a few opportunities but was unable to find the back of the net, which is a bit uncharacteristic of the striker.
As a whole, it wasn’t the strongest offensive performance you’ll see from City this season, as the Lions were wasteful at times. Matias Perez Garcia literally shot a ball into the upper deck. Carlos Rivas sent a few shots into the stands, including two free kicks that were over the bar. Perhaps the set piece situation will be addressed this week as many thought Giles Barnes should have been given the duty after coming on in the second half.
Carrasco Scores First Goal in Open Play
In over 100 appearances in MLS, Carrasco had only scored one goal before Sunday, which was from a spot kick. That came in 2013 when he was a member of the Seattle Sounders. Sunday’s goal gave him his first goal from open play in MLS when he headed home the match-winning goal.
Nocerino Leaves With Injury
Antonio Nocerino left the match in the 16th minute with an injury. It was confirmed as a calf injury and the midfielder will be evaluated on Monday. This could be a blow to the midfield but after Carrasco’s performance today, it may not be as dire.
Antonio Nocerino calf injury, per Jason Kreis: "Very disappointing on such an important player."— Alicia Rose DelGallo (@OSAliciaD) April 9, 2017
What did you think about our five takeaways from Sunday’s 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls? What else stood out to you that didn’t make the list?