Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Philadelphia Union: Final Score 1-0 as Lions Close Out 2015 Season With Disappointing Result

Orlando City closed out their inaugural MLS season with a disappointing 1-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union, which featured a penalty kick, a sending off, and eight Orlando City yellow cards.



Austin Warren, The Mane Land

The final page of Orlando City’s 2015 season has been written.

The club closed out its inaugural Major League Soccer campaign with a disappointing result on the road, losing to the Philadelphia Union, 1-0, on Decision Day, as the Lions finally saw themselves eliminated from playoff contention.

Sunday night’s game, more than any other, seemed to represent the Lions’ 2015 season better than any game we’ve seen — the team was shown eight yellow cards to seven players, had a player sent off, lost on a penalty kick, and played pretty poorly throughout the night. After entering the match on the five-game winning streak, there just wasn’t enough gas left in the tank for the team to finish the season on a high note.

Replicating the events of their first meeting back in August — a scoreless draw at the Citrus Bowl — both teams got off to a rather slow start to begin the match.

Josh Ford, making his first career MLS start with Tally Hall and Earl Edwards Jr. both out for the season with knee injuries, made himself known early on with a pair of big, back-to-back saves in the fifth minute that kept things scoreless. About 15 minutes later, he got his fingertips on another close-range shot inside the penalty area to keep it out of the net for a corner, tapping it just enough to send it off the far post.

Orlando City was close to taking a 1-0 lead off of a corner kick in the 37th minute, when Seb Hines was called for a foul on Philly goalkeeper Andre Blake, causing an Aurelien Collin goal to be waved off.

Instead, it was the Union that grabbed the first and only goal of the match just minutes later in the 41st when Cristian Higuita was called for a foul inside the penalty area that gave Philly a penalty kick. Sebastian Le Toux stepped up and buried it home for the score.

The biggest storyline to report in the second half were the fouls and cards left and right coming Orlando City’s way.

The team’s most dangerous attacking opportunity of the second half came in the 66th minute, when Rafael Ramos, who made his return back to action after replacing Adrian Winter in the 62nd, sent a cross into the box that found the head of Cyle Larin, who tried to go back post, but the header just scurried wide for a miss.

With three minutes and stoppage time remaining, the team was forced down to 10 men once again, when Higuita was shown his second yellow card of the match in the 87th. His red, by the way, will carry over in 2016, meaning Higuita will have to miss the Lions’ opener next season.

Kaká was also issued a yellow card on the play for arguing with the referee, making him the seventh and final Orlando City player shown a yellow on the evening.

And just like that, Orlando City’s season is over. The Lions will head into the off-season looking to strengthen their squad — and, more importantly, just get healthy — as they try to do it all again in 2016, when they’ll open a brand new stadium in downtown later in the year.


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