ORLANDO, FL – Vancouver Whitecaps FC fell 1-0 to Orlando City SC on Saturday afternoon after a late, deflected goal from longtime Portuguese international Nani.
In the 88th minute, Brazilian right back Ruan played a cross into the box that was met at the penalty spot by Sacha Kljestan, whose first-time attempt deflected off the shin of Nani, through the legs of ‘Caps centre back Erik Godoy, and into the bottom left corner.
It was an unfortunate bounce for the visitors, who were playing their third match in the last nine days following a 1-1 away draw with Chicago Fire on April 12, and a midweek win over league-leading LAFC at BC Place.
As a result, head coach Marc Dos Santos made five changes to his starting lineup, as well as a switch to a 5-3-2 formation featuring a forward partnership of Fredy Montero and Yordy Reyna. Notably, Zac MacMath got the nod between the posts to make his official Whitecaps FC debut.
The Florida native, who was credited with three saves, commanded his box well throughout the afternoon. At the end of the first half, he stymied João Moutinho at the near post after the second-year left back went for goal from the top corner of the six-yard box. He also did well to parry away a dangerous cross-shot from Nani at the hour-mark.
In front of him, the ‘Caps back line made a number of well-timed blocks and clearances, including a pair of last-ditch attempts from former Orlando right back Scott Sutter.
Vancouver’s best chance of the match came in the 72nd minute. After a wonderfully-worked build-up with Montero and Reyna, Inbeom Hwang missed the frame with a sliding attempt from the top of the six-yard box. Reyna also had a few late attempts, but could not find an equalizer.
As part of MLS Works Greener Goals Week of Service, all MLS clubs wore special adidas x Parley eco-friendly kits, made from recycled marine plastic waste, this Earth Day Weekend.
Next up for Whitecaps FC is an afternoon home date with Philadelphia Union next Saturday, April 27 at BC Place (2 p.m. PT kickoff on TSN and TSN 1040 radio – tickets still available).
WFC Man of the Match: Yordy Reyna
Referee: Alan Kelly
88’ – ORL – Nani (Sacha Kljestan, Ruan)
Possession: ORL 60.6% – VAN 39.4%
Shots: ORL 16 – VAN 6
Shots on Goal: ORL 4 – VAN 2
Saves: ORL 2 – VAN 3
Fouls: ORL 9 – VAN 11
Offsides: ORL 0 – VAN 3
Corners: ORL 7 – VAN 6
62’ – ORL – Nani
90’ – VAN – Derek Cornelius
90’+3’ – VAN – Lass Bangoura
Orlando City SC
23.Brian Rowe; 2.Ruan (14.Kyle Smith 90’+8’), 22.Lamine Sané, 6.Robin Jansson, 44.João Moutinho; 4.Will Johnson (16.Sacha Kljestan 76’), 20.Oriol Rossell, 8.Sebastián Méndez; 9.Chris Mueller, 14.Dom Dwyer (13.Tesho Akindele 72’), 17.Nani
Substitutes not used
18.Greg Ranjitsingh, 7.Cristian Higuita, 10.Josué Colmán, 27.Kamal Miller
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18.Zac MacMath; 23.Scott Sutter, 22.Érik Godoy, 2.Doneil Henry (19.Lass Bangoura 90’+2’), 13.Derek Cornelius, 53.Ali Adnan; 4.Inbeom Hwang, 8.Felipe Martins, 31.Russell Teibert (94.Victor “PC” Giro 90’+2’); 29.Yordy Reyna, 12.Fredy Montero © (9.Joaquín Ardaiz 79’)
Substitutes not used
16.Maxime Crépeau, 6.Jon Erice, 7.Lucas Venuto, 28.Jake Nerwinski