Orlando City headed into Ohio to take on the Columbus Crew for their second road game in four days. If you listened to the Mane Land PawedCast, you know that both Michael and I predicted a win. That’s usually not a good thing, but I guess even we can be somewhat right occasionally. A 2-0 road win for the Lions is a great way to end June. Here’s what I took away from the match.
The Center Back Solution?
How long has it been since Orlando City had a center back pairing with chemistry? Too long is the answer. Fortunately, James O’Connor seems to have found the solution with Lamine Sané and Robin Jansson. The pair seemed to clean up everything in front of the goal, whether in the run of play or on set piece defense. I honestly lost count of how many clearances the two Lions made. Sané and Jansson were a very big part of the Lions’ road win in Columbus.
Cash Money Deposits a Goal
For 40 minutes Chris Mueller struggled on the right side of the attack. He would dance through defenders, and then lose the ball out of bounds. He wasn’t his usual self. That is, until the 41st minute, when he was given a nicely weighted one-touch flick pass from Nani to put him in a perfect position to give Orlando City the lead. The goal was Mueller’s fourth goal this season, and Nani’s fifth assist.
4th goal of the year for @cmueller1662, 5th assist for @luisnani! #CLBvORL | #VamosOrlando pic.twitter.com/CfLoQQ04P3— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) June 30, 2019
Rowe Says No
Brian Rowe may have arguably made his best save of the season in the 55th minute against Columbus. Orlando City was up 1-0 at that point, and Columbus was looking to get back into the match. Columbus’ Robinho Madalena surprised everyone with a bicycle kick from the top of the box, that would have been a spectacular goal had Rowe not made an equally spectacular diving save on the shot.
Full stretch!!! Top save from @ROWE_BRIAN_— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) June 30, 2019
0-1 | #CLBvORL pic.twitter.com/Uw3FnJZmIe
Tesho Gets a Goal
Tesho Akindele was evidently so jealous that Mueller scored a goal on an assist from Nani that he decided he’d score one too. Once again, Nani provided the service for a young Lion, as Tesho put a beautiful curling shot into the upper right corner past Jon Kempin. The goal gave Orlando City a cushion to allow the Lions to see out the game. The goal was Tesho’s sixth on the season, and Nani got his second assist on the day, and sixth of the year.
Tesho Akindele curls one in from outside the area! 2-0 in favor of Orlando City. #CLBvORL pic.twitter.com/2Qwv49hPel— Major League Soccer (@MLS) June 30, 2019
Seeing out the Game
In the past, Orlando City has scored quite a few goals late in matches, but also has given up quite a few late as well. Having the discipline to see a game out when a team has a lead is something that good teams need to be able to do, and for at least this match, the Lions were able to do so. From getting the second goal cushion, to good clearances, passing, and possession, Orlando City did what it had to do to secure three points. Points on the road are always hard to come by in MLS, so let’s acknowledge such good work when it’s done.
Those are the things I saw in the Lions’ road win. Let me know what you think in the comments. Vamos Orlando!