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Orlando City at Austin FC: Five Takeaways

What did we learn from Orlando City’s frustrating 2-2 draw at Austin FC?

MLS: Orlando City SC at Austin FC Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City traveled to the Lone Star State to play Austin FC for the first time in club history and drew 2-2. It was a tale of two halves as Orlando City ended up with nine men with over 20 minutes remaining in regular time. Usually a point on the road is a good result, but it certainly didn’t feel like it this time. Here are our five takeaways from the match.

A Quick Start

Júnior Urso found himself in the exact right position in the second minute of play to earn an assist on Ercan Kara’s goal. Austin FC goalkeeper Brad Stuver made a bad pass from his goal line straight to Urso. In the 22nd minute, Ruan found himself in a great position to clean up Mauricio Pereyra’s initial shot that was kept out by Stuver. It was a nice finish from the speedy right back, and it doubled Orlando City’s lead.

Sporadic Finishing

Orlando City has been wasteful with chances in front of goal this season. Initially, that was not the case in Austin, but as the game went on, the Lions once again had trouble finishing their chances. Opportunities by Urso, Ruan, Torres, and Kara to extend the lead were all either saved or just missed. The Lions need to get this figured out if the club expects to make a decent run in the playoffs. If Orlando City managed to find the back of the net just one more time, then everything that followed may not have happened, or at least wouldn’t have mattered as much.

Handball Shenanigans

Rodrigo Schlegel was moving into position to block a shot in the 58th minute, with his right arm moving back towards his body, when the shot hit his arm. A foul was called and he was given a yellow card for a handball that occurred just outside the box. Schlegel was a part of the wall for the ensuing free kick, flanked by Urso. As the ball went towards the wall, Urso pulled to his right just a bit and the ball went between Urso and Schlegel. The center back was called for a second handball, earned a second yellow, and was sent off on a call that seemed harsh. Sebastián Driussi made the resulting penalty kick, though Pedro Gallese did get a trailing foot to the shot.

Araujo Sees Red

César Araújo foolishly earned a straight red card in the 69th minute when he just barely caught Alex Ring when he kicked out at the midfielder following a challenge. Araújo was not his usual excellent self even prior to the card. The 21-year-old has arguably been Orlando City’s best and most consistent player so far this season, but not so on Sunday. His defense was not as sound as we’ve come to expect, he turned the ball over carelessly a couple of times, and the card was a result of his obvious frustrations on the night.

A Result with Nine

For 29 minutes, Orlando City had to defend a one-goal lead. For 26 minutes, the Lions were able to do so. Orlando City absorbed repeated attacks. The woodwork even helped out in the effort. In the fifth minute of stoppage time, Austin finally broke through on Moussa Kalilou Djitté’s shot, off a corner kick that should have been a goal kick. Everything that could have possibly gone wrong in the second half for Orlando City, did go wrong, and yet the Lions still came away with a point on the road. It is still difficult to not feel done wrong by PRO referees in this match, but what else is to be expected?

That is what I took away from the ridiculous draw in Austin. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.