In a tough game, Orlando comes away with yet another tie against the Philadelphia Union. With injuries to a couple of Orlando’s key defenseman, should Orlando consider themselves fortunate to end last night’s game in a tie? Or should they feel discouraged and walk out of Camping World Stadium with their heads down in disappointment? That’s as tough of a call as the referees make on a nightly basis. One thing is for sure: Orlando played hard.
For whatever reason, lately it seems as though the Lions aren’t able to get their mojo going until mid-way through the game. Don’t get me wrong, they had chances to have chances at goals… If that makes sense. But there certainly weren’t any, “Oh, that looks like it might go in” kinds of shots. Fatigue could have definitely played a factor. Despite it still being early on in the season, let’s keep in mind that the Lions played Montreal just four days ago – and that game certainly wasn’t a sleeper.
After a few visits to the concession stands, a couple of bathroom breaks and that e-mail you had to send, it was back to the game. Kakà was unable to capitalize on a penalty kick that could have given the Lions a 1-0 lead over the Union. Philadelphia goalkeeper, Andre Blake, is credited (and rightly so) for a terrific save. Conversely, one Union player who seems to want to change the idea of the Lions being “The King of the Jungle”, Tranquillo (or for when he’s playing the Lions, tranquilizer) Barnetta had no problem getting his mojo going. He was able to find the back of the net on a beautiful header from Chris Pontius that was a good twenty-five feet away. From a coach’s perspective, it seemed as though someone missed a defensive assignment as Barnetta made a relatively easy cut to the goal.
Fifteen minutes later is when someone put in a large order for offense. A span of three goals in seven minutes began with a strike. Wait, a strike? And you thought you were watching soccer… Spectators might have gotten confused because a fast break goal was scored by Kevin Molino was initiated after Cyle Larin went crashing into a group on Union players which included their goalkeeper. The ball landed in Molion’s favor as he was able to tap the ball into a wide open goal. Three minutes later came a very controversial goal from Cyle Larin on an assist from Kakà as he tip-toed the end line. With Orlando hearts optimistically waiting for the time to expire, that all-too familiar name comes up again… ‘Tranquilizer’ Barnetta tries to put the Lions to sleep with a shot that ricochets off of Orlando goalkeeper, Joe Bendik’s hands and into the foot of Union defenseman, Ken Tribbett for a goal. This would be the last of we would hear of either team for the night.
With another tie last night, this puts Orlando at 3-3-6 on the young season. There’s plenty of time left for the Lions to make strong strides towards a playoff run. Despite it officially being a tie, as a fan, I’m looking at this game as somewhat of win for the Lions. They played a great game against a great team; the number one team in the east to be exact. The Lions will try to continue this play against New York City FC on Sunday May 29 at 4:00 PM.