Orlando City SC (No. 2 seed) defeated the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (No.7 seed) 5-0 Saturday night in the USL PRO Quarterfinals, advancing to the league Semifinals. 8,486 fans watched the Lions top the Riverhounds, with Orlando set to host the Charleston Battery on Friday, August 30, in the league Semifinals.
“I think the work rate that (Long) Tan and (Dennis) Chin produced set the tone for the entire night,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “My favorite quote to the players is ‘The supporters want to see you play like they would play if they had a chance.’ I think they did that tonight.”
The Lions got off to a hot start, with a goal occurring in just the 3rd minute of play. A well-placed corner by Winger Luke Boden found the head of Forward Long Tan- who whipped his attempt past Pittsburgh Goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap for the 1-0 lead.
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Immediately following, Pittsburgh went on the attack- with Riverhounds’ Midfielder Rob Vincent finding himself with open space behind the Orlando backline in the 4th minute. Vincent slid his attempt past Orlando Goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo, only for Defender Rob Valentino to make a sliding save inside the box- clearing the chance out of danger.
Just a minute later, the Lions converted a second goal, with Renan Boufleur cleaning up a loose ball inside the 6-yard box for the score. After an Anthony Pulis corner, Tan flicked it on for Boufleur in open space inside the 18-yard box- with the Phoenix FC loanee blasting it home for the 2-0 lead in just the 5th minute of play.
Orlando didn’t let up for the remainder of the first 45 minutes, with Pittsburgh having few chances against a solid backline that included Valentino, Erik Ustruck, Luke Boden and Boufleur.
The second half started off much like the first, with a quick score by Orlando giving the Lions a comfortable 3-0 lead. After getting behind the Pittsburgh defense, Chin played a brilliant back heel pass to Tan – with the striker putting his shot past Gilstrap for his second goal of the night. The two scores in one game by Tan was the first time the striker notched a brace since joining the team in the 2012-13 offseason.
Orlando tacked on two more goals to seal the deal, with Chin converting in the 68th minute while Midfielder Anthony Pulis drove home a penalty kick in the 79th for the 5-0 advantage and victory.
The Lions will face the defending league Champions Charleston Battery in the league Semifinals on Friday, August 30, at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Orlando holds a 7-1-2 advantage (W-L-T) against the Battery, with the most recent meeting on July 11 resulting in a Lions win.