ORLANDO, FL – Brek Shea scored the game-winner against his former club as Vancouver Whitecaps FC (11W-9L-5D) edged Orlando City SC (8W-11L-7D) 2-1 on Saturday night at Orlando City Stadium.
Orlando controlled over 70 per cent of possession on the night, but it was a thrilling affair that had plenty of action at both ends of the pitch. The ‘Caps fought tooth and nail to earn the result, putting their bodies on the line defensively and causing all sorts of problems on the counter.
And in the end, they were fully deserving of the three points. The ‘Caps now have 11 wins on the season, and five away from home, which surpasses their totals from all of 2016.
Saturday contest vs. Orlando was Vancouver’s third match in the span of eight days – as well as their longest trip of the year. With that in mind, Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made nine changes to his starting lineup after a midweek draw against Seattle. The only two players who remained in Robinson’s XI were centre back Kendall Waston and left back Jordan Harvey.
The changes paid off in a big way.
Whitecaps FC opened the scoring in the ninth minute, when centre back Tommy Redding inadvertently flicked in a teasing free kick from Nicolas Mezquida for an Orlando own goal.
And they struck again early in the second half.
In the 53rd minute, Shea doubled Vancouver’s lead with a lovely chipped finish after a nice little throughball from Erik Hurtado, who was a menace up front in his first start since April 1.
Orlando got one back through a 62nd-minute Cyle Larin header, which set up a thrilling final half hour. Both teams went for it in the closing stages – Alphonso Davies was electric on the counter, former Whitecaps FC midfielder Giles Barnes fired a 25-yard strike off the crossbar, and Stefan Marinovic made a fantastic, reaction save on Dom Dwyer, who as it turns out was actually offside.
Harvey also made a superb block in stoppage time, with his head, to preserve the victory for Whitecaps FC, who move into fourth place in the Western Conference with games in hand on two of the three teams above them.
After a weekend off for the FIFA international break, the ‘Caps play host to Real Salt Lake on Saturday, September 9, BC Place – their first of four straight home matches in the month of September (tickets available at whitecapsfc.com/tickets).
NEWS AND NOTES
Waston had a game-high 16 clearances on the night, the fourth highest total of any player this season ... His centre back partner Aaron Maund, who was making his Whitecaps FC debut, finished second to only Waston with 11 clearances ... Christian Bolanos (groin) and Tim Parker (adductor) were left out of the 18-man roster to rest their minor injuries.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Kendall Waston
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
9’ – VAN – Tommy Redding (own goal)
53’ – VAN – Brek Shea (Erik Hurtado)
62’ – ORL – Cyle Larin (Yoshimar Yotun, Cristian Higuita)
Possession: Orlando 72.4% – Vancouver 27.6%
Shots: Orlando 25 – Vancouver 7
Shots on Goal: Orlando 4 – Vancouver 3
Saves: Orlando 2 – Vancouver 3
Fouls: Orlando 10 – Vancouver 19
Offsides: Orlando 3 – Vancouver 1
Corners: Orlando 9 – Vancouver 3
25’ – VAN – Aaron Maund
27’ – ORL – Donny Toia
71’ – ORL – Tommy Redding
75’ – ORL – Kaká
Orlando City SC
1.Joe Bendik; 21.Scott Sutter, 29.Tommy Redding, 95.Leo Pereira, 25.Donny Toia (15.Dillon Powers 57’); 14.Giles Barnes, 7.Cristian Higuita (23.Antonio Nocerino 84’), 10.Kaká, 19.Yoshimar Yotun; 18.Dom Dwyer, 11.Carlos Rivas (9.Cyle Larin HT)
Substitutes not used
36.Earl Edwards Jr., 4.Jose Aja, 5.Servando Carrasco, 16.Tony Rocha
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
24.Stefan Marinović; 28.Jake Nerwinski, 4.Kendall Waston ©, 22.Aaron Maund, 2.Jordan Harvey; 31.Russell Teibert, 17.Marcel de Jong; 23.Bernie Ibini (29.Yordy Reyna 75’), 11.Nicolás Mezquida (67.Alphonso Davies 62’), 20.Brek Shea; 19.Erik Hurtado (12.Fredy Montero 66’)
Substitutes not used
1.David Ousted, 8.Andrew Jacobson, 13.Cristian Techera, 77.Mauro Rosales