It wasn’t pretty, but Orlando City came from behind and won 2-1 against the Colorado Rapids to earn the team’s second road victory in 2018 and the Lions’ fifth straight win overall. It was yet another physical, gritty performance and OCSC showed heart and hustle to pull out all three points.
Here are our takeaways from Orlando’s latest comeback win:
First to Five
It wasn’t easy at any point for the Lions, but they became the first team in 2018 to record a five-game winning streak. The run matches Orlando’s longest streak in Major League Soccer — from Sept. 13, 2015 to Oct. 16, 2015 — and keeps OCSC sitting third in the Eastern Conference through two months. Orlando will try to make it six against Real Salt Lake next week.
Comeback Kings Reign
For the fourth time this year, the Lions found themselves a goal down in the first half and battled back for a result. From the fight on the field to the personnel adjustments, City has been doing all of the right things to dig deep and find a way to win. Doing it on the road at high altitude against a club with a defensive setup might be the best of the bunch to date.
It’s Still Cristian Higuita’s Job
While high profile signing Oriol Rosell has been available for selection the past few weeks after dealing with a nagging knee injury, he’s been kept on the bench due to the superb play of Cristian Higuita. That continued Sunday, with the Colombian completing 89.5% of his passes, notching two tackles and two clearances, and of course scoring Orlando’s first goal of the afternoon. Uri replaced Higuita after 67 minutes and was solid but it’s still Cristian’s job to lose.
Justin Meram is Back
Justin Meram was inserted back into the starting lineup after two weeks of watching Stefano Pinho start in his stead. Head Coach Jason Kreis gave him another opportunity against the Rapids and Meram delivered. He created three chances and had a silky backheel that put Yoshimar Yotun through on goal to earn the game-winning penalty.
While Meram was held without a goal yet again, it was more due to a Save of the Week candidate from Zac MacMath, who somehow managed to push Meram’s rocket of a shot off the post.
Amro Tarek Might be Orlando’s Best Center Back
All of the hype in the off-season was rightfully centered on Lamine Sané and his arrival from SV Weder Bremen, but it’s been Egyptian Amro Tarek on loan from Wadi Degla who has consistently stood out when he takes the field. While Sané or Mohamed El-Munir make the headlines with their last-ditch saves, Tarek routinely chases down attackers with his speed and puts an end to attacks. While his Senegalese partner might have done more on the stat sheet, Lamine was caught out by Dominique Badji for Colorado’s goal and nearly caused another goal with a wayward back-pass to Joe Bendik. When Jonathan Spector finally returns from concussion protocol, Kreis will have a difficult decision on his hands.