Orlando City fell to 1-1-0 in 2021 preseason action, falling 3-2 to New York City FC today at Osceola County Stadium. Alexandre Pato scored a goal in his first action with Orlando and Robin Jansson also found the net but the visitors got a brace from Valentin Castellanos to edge out City.
The Lions conceded two penalty kicks in the first half to give the Pigeons a 2-0 advantage in the first 39 minutes of the game. Castellanos scored his penalty just seven minutes in to put the Lions back on their heels and Jesus Medina added a second penalty kick goal in the 39th minute. Conceding twice on penalties in a half only seems unusual because it is. However, without having seen the infractions, it’s difficult to be too harsh on the game officials. Both penalties were drawn by Homegrown forward Andres Jasson, according to the NYCFC Twitter account.
Jansson scored in the 43rd minute to pull Orlando City back within a goal heading into the break. The Beefy Swede fired a long-range effort that took a deflection and beat goalkeeper Luis Barraza, giving the Lions a lift entering the half.
Pato leveled things in the 65th minute, notching his first competitive goal in Orlando purple in his first appearance.
First minutes in purple. First goal in purple.— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) March 18, 2021
Well done, @Pato #VamosOrlando pic.twitter.com/NQtGO4Z1Tb
However, the 2-2 score line didn’t last long. Just two minutes after Orlando tied the game, Castellanos completed his brace. Gudmundur Thórarinsson, who saw his spot kick saved by Rodrigo Schlegel in the 2020 MLS Cup playoffs, set up Castellanos for the winning goal in the 67th minute.
After Orlando’s 1-0 win over Philadelphia on Monday, today’s loss is a bit of a bummer, but it’s difficult to overcome one penalty, let alone two. The Lions showed fight to come from two down and it was good to see Pato get on the scoresheet in his first action.
The Lions will be back in preseason action next week. The next match on Orlando City’s preseason schedule was slated for Saturday, March 27 against an opponent to be announced. That opponent has still not been announced, but the folks over at Brotherly Game have informed us that the Philadelphia Union will scrimmage the Lions on Wednesday, March 24 at Osceola County Stadium.