SANFORD, Fla. - Orlando City won their fourth-straight match in their series of college friendlies, as the Lions defeated the University of Tampa 1-0 at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford, Fla. Dennis Chin scored Orlando’s lone goal in the 61st minute on an assist from Jamie Watson.
While Orlando controlled possession of the ball for the entire game, they struggled to break through in the final third. The first half saw several close chances, most notably with forward Max Griffin making a charge toward goal with an open lane in the 44th minute. Griffin collected a long pass and rounded the Tampa keeper, but could not get even half a step on the additional defenders for a good look at goal. The half ended without a goal.
The Lions switched to a 4-4-2 formation at the start of the second half, with Dennis Chin coming on to play opposite Griffin. Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath explained the switch from the 4-2-3-1, stating it was a product of the preseason.
“Changing the formation after the half was a part of the plan,” Heath said. “Now is the time to test things like that. Overall we played well in the second half, but we have to improve on our final third. We came out of the game unscathed, so I’m happy with tonight.”
The new formation provided Orlando with more opportunities, with City increasing pressure on Tampa’s back line as the match wore on. The Lions finally broke though in the 61st minute, as Jamie Watson slotted a perfectly timed pass through several defenders to Chin. The forward received the pass in stride, turning around and blasting in a low-lying shot to give Orlando the 1-0 lead. The score was Chin’s third of the preseason.
Orlando continued to press on the attack, not allowing Tampa to respond to the City goal.
Orlando City plays their next collegiate friendly at the UCF Soccer Stadium against the UCF Knights on Sunday. The match begins at 1:00 p.m. Entrance to the game will be free, with parking at Garage F near the stadium free to visitors as well.
For more information, visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com today.