Orlando 1 (5) – LAFC 1 (4)
The clock nearly struck midnight for Cinderella in this game, but Orlando City found late heroics once more as they continued their run as the “home team” for the MLS is Back Tournament. This was a slow paced game showing a bit of an uncharacteristically slow LAFC team. Orlando took advantage of that when it mattered most.
Orlando played this game the way they wanted and still almost succumbed to the talent of LAFC, but the cardiac kids found another late goal to force the penalty kick finish. Orlando has relied on their late game goals for the entire tournament, and you have to think that their luck will come to an end at some point. However, what if it’s not luck at all? They are consistently able to pull this trick off, and now they stand just two wins from a trophy and a spot in the CCL Champions League.
The lack of Carlos Vela finally reared its ugly head for LAFC. Once they lost who I believe to be their most valuable non-Vela player, Eduard Atuesta, to injury they were unable to hold any form of possession. They seemed to be on the back foot the entire game and still found themselves in possession of a 1-0 lead nearing the final whistle. However, the hiccups that the defense had been showing all tournament came back at the wrong time. Jordan Harvey lost sight of Joao Moutinho on a corner and then missed his PK in the shootout to finish off a rough night for him and a rough night for LAFC.
Man of the Match: Joao Moutinho
The Orlando defender is no stranger to fantastic finishes. He was on LAFC’s inaugural team that saw plenty of finishes in the late minutes. It appears that Orlando will be continuing that trend this season and Moutinho could be a big part of that. He played a nearly flawless game. He provided great defense on Diego Rossi and Brian Rodriguez, scored a nice late game header to force penalty kicks, and calmly buried his penalty during the shootout.