Orlando City headed to Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday afternoon to take on Inter Miami CF in the rivalry that has become known as Tropic Thunder. Unfortunately, this match ended just like the Lions’ last trip to the Pink Palace. They say you can learn more from your mistakes than your successes. Let’s see what we can takeaways from Orlando City’s 2-1 loss to Inter Miami.
All Good Things Must End
Orlando City’s unbeaten streak has ended at 12 matches. The last match that Orlando City lost was also at Inter Miami, and that is disappointing, but given that it’s been since August that the Lions tasted last defeat, it’s hard to get too upset. It was bound to happen, and with four matches remaining in the regular season, and a spot in the playoffs clinched, getting it out of the way might not be a bad thing. The players who haven’t been on the injury report are getting worn down, and it showed in some of the performances. Hopefully, this will help the club refocus, and with players continuing to return from injury, Orlando City can start another run into the playoffs.
Dike’s Decent Day
Daryl Dike continues to improve on an excellent rookie season. The big man beat the Miami defense, getting onto a beautiful long ball assist from Antônio Carlos in the 12th minute, and put the ball through John McCarthy’s legs for Orlando City’s only goal. It was a good start for both the rookie and Orlando City, and the goal wasn’t the last of Dike’s good play. He created chances with his good holdup play, and often surprised me (and Miami) with his speed. Despite the Lions getting more offensive pieces back, Dike has earned continued playing time.
Jansson’s Mixed Day
Jansson made several important stops to keep Miami from scoring on breakaways and buildups, but he also gave up the own goal. The Beefy Swede seemed to be on a mission early on as he chased down Miami attackers, and used his long legs to take balls away at the last moment. Unfortunately, what might have been an impeccable match was marred when Jansson tried to clear a wet ball, but it went off his foot and into the net for an own goal. Give it up to Jansson, as he didn’t let it affect his play the remainder of the match. Indeed, he made a nifty interception to defend a two on one Miami break, and did a quick back-heel pass to clear it to a teammate.
Where Are the Goals?
Orlando City has scored more than one goal only once since Sept. 23 at Sporting Kansas City. The Lions got on the board early on Saturday and had other opportunities, but crosses were poor, shots were blocked, or the wrong decisions were made. Orlando had an opportunity to take the lead late when the ball fell to Benji Michel’s feet a yard from the goal line with goalkeeper John McCarthy on the ground. Michel booted his shot right into McCarthy rather than putting it...well, anywhere else. That’s one that Benji will be thinking about for a long time and goes to show the fine line between winning and losing in MLS.
PRO Gonna PRO?
It might have looked like Orlando City got the worse of the officiating, but statistically Inter Miami had more fouls than the Lions with 14 to Orlando’s 13. Miami earned five yellow cards to Orlando City’s three. That is not at all to say that the match was well officiated. This is a rivalry match, and as such it was pretty chippy. It’s an official’s job to keep it not chippy. It did seem that there were several non-calls on Miami for what should have been fouls against Chris Mueller, Daryl Dike, and others. Both Dike and Mueller were taken down in the offensive half, and Allen Chapman played on, with the former leading to the attack that led to the Jansson own goal. On the other side, Miami was given fouls that seemed to be pretty light challenges. As I said, not well officiated.
That’s what I saw in Orlando City’s loss. Let me know what you saw in the comments below.