Metro holds off 10-man Orlando, 2:0
July 18, 2015
A wonderful goal from Sacha Kljestan, a dubious red card, and some late-minute Mike Grella magic saw Metro beat Orlando 2:0 in the first-ever meeting between the teams. It was Metro's first competitive game in Florida since a 3:2 triumph over Miami in August of 2001.
Jesse Marsch elected to keep exactly the same lineup that beat down New England, and it paid off. No, not as swiftly as it did a week ago, but Metro did start to control the match early on. The opening goal came in the 21st, when Kljestan received the ball from McCarty outside the box. The mustached midfielder took a touch and blasted a terrific shot into the upper right corner of the net. Orlando goalkeeper Tally Hall must still be wondering about what happened.
In the 32nd, it was time for MLS's awful referees to rear their ugly head. (See, we criticize the refs even when the calls benefit Metro! Sometimes...) A clumsy tackle from Cyle Larin at midfield warrantied a yellow at best, but the official decided to send the Orlando striker off. A few minutes later, a bad call went the other way, as Damien Perrinelle's goal off a corner kick was called back for a non-existent foul.
Metro spent most of the second half on its heels, as Orlando's nine remaining field players tried their best to break through. Even though Luis Robles was forced to make a couple of good saves, the home team's best chance came with a Matt Miazga clearance bounced off Perrinelle and just over the Metro net.
The insurance tally came in injury time, when Grella took the ball in the box, slowed it down, gave it some thought, and pierced the Orlando net. Other than the two goals, it was not the prettiest of wins...
But who gets points for prettiness?
Lineup: Robles, Wallace, Perrinelle, Miazga, Lade, McCarty, Martins, Kljestan, Grella, Sam, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Abang, Zizzo, Ouimette.