In the third-ever meeting between the two teams, Orlando City SC (8-11-7, 31 points) fell 2-1 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC (11-9-5, 38 points) Saturday at Orlando City Stadium. Cyle Larin scored his 10th goal of the season, Yoshimar Yotún registered his first Major League Soccer (MLS) assist and Dillon Powers made his Orlando City debut.
“The effort the guys are putting forward in the last five or six games now is second to none. The belief that they have, the willingness that they have to work to the bitter end is fantastic and I can’t be more thankful for that,” Lions head coach Jason Kreis said. “But for whatever reason it seems that it’s bad luck after bad luck after bad luck. To go through a game tonight where we gave them both goals and then weren’t able to finish one of the plethora of chances we had is difficult. Really, really mentally and emotionally difficult time for us.”
Vancouver opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Nicolas Mezquida’s free kick delivery bounced off Tommy Redding and in.
City turned up the pressure from there and widely controlled the run of play. Larin entered the match as a halftime substitution for Carlos Rivas and headed home Yotún’s cross in the 62nd minute to cut the deficit in half following Brek Shea’s goal. It was Larin’s team-leading 10th goal of the season and Yotún’s first assist as a Lion after being signed on Aug. 4. Cristian Higuita earned his third assist of the season.
Urged on by the supporters, the Lions pushed for the equalizer. Larin almost had his second in the 78th minute following a mad scramble in the box - the second of the night for City - but it went out for a corner. Barnes cracked a shot off the bar in 86th minute.
Powers entered the match in the 57th minute to make his first appearance as a Lion. Powers was acquired from Colorado in exchange for Luis Gil on Aug. 10.
City begins a four-game road trip on Saturday, Sept. 2, at the New England Revolution. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET. The Lions then visit D.C. United, Atlanta and Portland before returning to Orlando City Stadium on Wednesday, Sept. 27, to host New England.
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