Kevin Molino chipped in an early goal, and then Orlando City SC fought off several threatening, late attacks from the Pittsburgh Riverhounds to hang on for a close 1-0 victory in Pittsburgh on Friday night, staying undefeated in USL PRO this season, moving to 6-0-2 on the year.
The Lions entered Pittsburgh on a five game winning streak after even two draws to open the season, while the Riverhounds continued to look for their first win, which they would not get in this game.
City played with a lot of pressure early on, creating chances and setting up attacks. Dennis Chin set up Orlando’s first goal of the game in the 13th minute, knocking down the ball with his chest, then flicking it over to Molino, who slipped it past the Pittsburgh goalie for his league-leading fifth goal of the year.
Molino picked up a foul just outside of the penalty area in the 31st minute, giving Pittsburgh a free-kick, and a good chance to score, however the shot was sent directly into the wall and cleared away.
Played remained fairly even for the rest of the first half, and the Lions went into the dressing room with the 1-0 lead.
The direction of played shifted around throughout the second half of the match. Tyler Turner picked up a yellow card in the 64th minutes, about seven minutes after a yellow was awarded to a Riverhounds player.
The biggest moment, probably, of the game came in the 74th minute when the refs called for a Pittsburgh penalty kick after an apparent takedown in the box. Honestly, I missed this play, so I don’t know exactly what happened, but after a couple minutes the ref decided against the call, and took back his original PK call.
Orlando made a couple of late pushes to extend their lead in the closing moment of the game. A goal likely would have sealed it, but they weren’t able to get a ball into the back of the net, leading to the close finish.
With six minutes of stoppage time added on, Pittsburgh was able to put numerous good shots on goal, but Miguel Gallardo — or Jellardo, as the commentators were calling him the entire match — came up with a couple of tremendous save to keep the ‘Hounds off the board, and help get City three more points.
Corey Hertzog missed an easy breakaway chance in the last few seconds, but it didn’t matter for the Lions, who picked up their sixth straight win of the season, which for the time being, puts them all alone atop of the USL PRO tables.
Orlando continues this two-game road trip with another game Saturday night in Rochester. So it’ll be a quick turnaround for the Lions against the Rhinos.