Orlando City finally got a break this week, after having lost against Miami FC in the US Open Cup and having Cyle Larin arrested the following more for a DUI. The Lions needed a boost, or at least a sigh of relief for the community and the fans.
Orlando hosted Montreal Impact in its attempts to continue their playoff push and maintain a steady lead above that red line. With this game holding so much weight, it was only destiny to add extra weight with the one year anniversary of the Pulse Night Club shooting.
Yet, this did not seem to phase Orlando, as they the team came out determined to be able to make the fans proud and show the fans the amount of love they have for them.
With that being said, the match started and Orlando did everything they could to start capitalizing on the away team.
Orlando did just that, within ten minutes of the game KaKa drove down the left side of the pitch towards the goal, and with the ball nearing the out line, KaKa crosses the ball beautifully for Matias Perez Garcia to slice it into the back of the net for his first goal with Orlando!
While the crowd celebrated, the celebration unfortunately did it last long, when in the 16th minute, Blerim Dzemaili received a beautiful cross from Ignacio Piatti and beat Joe Bendik to tie the game.
While Orlando tried take the lead, they were able to do so before the half ended when KaKa attempted to repeat the previous run, except the ball was deflected into Carlos Rivas’s foot, who buried it in the back of the goal. Orlando took the lead going into halftime 2-1.
Coming out of halftime Orlando had all the momentum, with the crowd on the home side, until Ignacio Piatti drove past the defense and ties the game up 2-2 in the 58th Minute. But the crowd was still optimistic, until a bad defense pass and heavy offense pressure from Montreal allowed a steal of the ball and Ignacio Piatti placed the ball into the back of the net again to earn his brace against Orlando City.
With that Orlando continued to push, trying to tie the game to give the fans at least a point for showing up, but it seems they continued to come up short.
The game was nearing a close, and the head referee added an additional six minutes of added time to the clock to make up from previous yellow cards and injuries. Yet with two minutes left in extra time, Orlando was awarded a corner kick, to attempt to tie the game, Matias Perez Garcia lined up and crossed the ball over the pitch right in front of the goal, when Jonathan Spector whipped his neck around and headed the ball into the top left corner of the goal to tie the game at 3-3.
With that goal, Orlando was able to secure one point in the playoff race and give the fans something to celebrate, along with being able to witness an amazing game.
Hats off to Orlando for not giving up on themselves and their fans as well as being able to maintain a playoff spot in the middle stretch of the season. For the Lions next match they will travel to Seattle to take on the Sounders on 6/21 at 10:30 PM, Orlando will need to at least secure a point to ensure their success!