For the third season in a row, Orlando City failed to score a goal in a game against FC Dallas, as the two sides played to a scoreless draw at Orlando City Stadium this afternoon, a result that all but shuts the Lions out of playoff contention for the third straight year.
If you were expecting two teams that were using the same lineups they did in games played three days ago — for each their third game in a week — to have an exciting, great display of the game of soccer, then you were sorely mistaken, my friends.
It was your typical hot Florida afternoon, with overcast and a little bit of rain thrown into the mix. And all of the above factors showed.
“The truth of the matter is that I’m pleased with the performance; really, really pleased with the efforts that the group put out,” Head Coach Jason Kreis said after the match. “I knew that it was going to be a difficult day. It was hot out there, it was our third game in a week and we’ve had to travel all the way from Portland and back in the last week.
“A lot of considerations for why the performance probably wasn’t as energetic as I would have liked it to have been, but at the end of the day the guys gave everything they had and can feel very proud of what they put into that game.”
Dallas (10-9-12, 42 points) came out hot, pressuring Orlando (10-13-9, 39 points) with chances, but nothing sharp enough to get past Joe Bendik, and on the other side, Orlando was showing plenty of good ideas but their tired legs weren’t dispensing enough quality to come through on those ideas.
Mauro Diaz was a giving Orlando City a lot of problems throughout the match, especially in the first 45 minutes, forcing Bendik into action a handful of times. Diaz forced Bendik to the ground to stop a shot in the 12th minute, and again tested the Lions ‘keeper in the 30th on a free kick from about 25 yards out, which Bendik also stopped.
Some other soccer things happened, and then the game ended.
That’s not really the end of this recap, but in all seriousness, there was not much else to highlight from this one.
The final 10 minutes might have been the most exciting moments of the match, which isn’t really to say much about what happened. The referee allowed for at least six minutes of stoppage time, giving the Lions plenty of time to push for the goal they couldn’t find.
Kaká got his head onto a corner in the 90th minute, sending it across the face of goal and just out of reach of Cyle Larin’s foot. Three minutes later, Yoshi Yotún hit the post on a shot that appeared to deflect off of Matt Hedges’ arm, but the referees turned a blind eye to the handball. Yotún, another three minutes later in the 96th, ripped a shot that Jesse Gonzalez was able to knock away with his face, preserving the draw for his side.
The Lions will be off next weekend for the international break, then return to the pitch on Oct. 15 to host the Columbus Crew in their final home match of the season.
“Without the possibility of the playoffs now, it’s all about us, and it’s all about finishing with dignity,” Kreis said.