Led by three first-half goals, Orlando City (4-1-1, 13 points) handed the visiting Dayton Dutch Lions (2-1-0, 6 points) their first loss of the season 4-0 Saturday night in front of a regular-season record 9,589 fans at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl. The win gives the Lions a 3-0-0 home record in USL PRO regular season play as Orlando continues their home stand Tuesday night against VSI Tampa Bay.
“It was a very good, professional performance tonight,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “I’m proud of the boys.“
Dayton, who won their first two games of the season coming into Orlando, played the Lions tough early on. The Ohio-based side held strong defensive lines as an attempt to disrupt forward movement by Orlando, but as the first half went on the Lions began to find breaks.
After multiple chances by the Lions frontline, Orlando broke through in the 28th minute with a goal from Forward Dennis Chin. The 2012 USL PRO Scoring Champion, who was making his first start for Orlando in the 2013 regular season, slotted home a score after Midfielder Jamie Watson found the striker in stride past the Dayton backline. Chin chipped the Watson feed up and over Dutch Lions’ Goalkeeper Matt Williams for the 1-0 advantage.
Once the first score occurred, Orlando opened up the match. Defender Rob Valentino found Sporting Kansas City loanee and Forward Dom Dwyer in the box in the 34th minute, with the former USF Bull finding the back of the net after eluding Dayton’s backline for his fourth goal of the season and 2-0 advantage.
Just five minutes later, Dwyer again found himself in scoring position only for a Dayton defender to trip him inside the 18 yard box, awarding the Lions a penalty kick. Watson, who came into the game leading the league in overall points, calmly converted the attempt in the lower right-hand corner to give the Lions a 3-0 lead heading into the half.
Orlando continued to press in the second half, showing no let-up from the first 45 minutes of play. It was again Dwyer who scored for the Lions, weaving his way past a Dayton defender on the left side of the pitch in the 72nd minute for his brace and the 4-0 advantage. The 4-0 scoreline tied the franchise’s largest goal differential in a regular season match (+4), with the game ending in the same tally.
Orlando quickly turns their attention to a home match this Tuesday, April 30, against expansion side VSI Tampa Bay. Tampa (3-3-0, 9 points) has won two out of their last three coming into Tuesday night’s match, which marks the first-ever meeting between the two Florida clubs.
The 9,589 fans Saturday night marks the second-straight week in which Orlando City set a regular-season attendance record. The previous week, 9,140 came out to see the Lions top LA 3-2, a record in its own right.