Sporting Kansas City 1, Orlando City SC 2 | 2020 MLS Match Recap
In a match where Orlando City SC dominated the first half and Sporting Kansas City dominated the second, it was visitors Orlando who took the three points by a 2-1 scoreline on Wednesday at Children's Mercy Park.
Orlando spent almost the entirety of the first half in control, with Sporting having difficulty getting forward. Both teams struggled for scoring chances in the opening half hour, though that changed for Orlando as the half began to wind down. The game's first shot on target was Tesho Akindele's 36th minute goal, who scored in his first start since the MLS is Back Tournament. Ruan found space to make a pass to Akindele, who made a run to the right side of the penalty area before scoring at an angle.
Two minutes later, Orlando doubled their lead. Nani's pass met Benji Michel on the edge of the penalty area, who fought off a defender to get a little closer and score for his third goal of the season.
SKC truly changed the dynamic to start the second half, getting close to goal to start before getting a goal of their own in the 53rd minute. Gerso received the ball on the left side of the goal and sent the ball to the opposite post, where Johnny Russell headed it in.
It was all the momentum Kansas City needed to maintain pressure for most of the second half, but they ended up with very few genuine opportunities to score an equalizer. A second shot on target only came for the hosts in the final minutes of the match, when Gerso's strike from a distance was matched by an incredible save from Pedro Gallese. Though both sides had multiple opportunities in the second half, the game ended with just the goals before the 60th minute.
- 36' - ORL - Tesho Akindele | WATCH
- 38' - ORL - Benji Michel | WATCH
- 53' - SKC - Johnny Russell | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: It was not a great finishing night for either team, but Orlando continues its strong start under Oscar Pareja by grinding out a victory and maintaining a second place spot in the East. Sporting KC, meanwhile, will probably be left dissatisfied with both the offensive effort, having only two shots on goal out of a total 16, but also with poor defending on Orlando's two goals.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Benji Michel's goal was the eventual game winner, and proved crucial on a night where both teams struggled to finish. It also featured a lovely pass over the top from Nani for the assist.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Nani was an important part of Orlando's victory, getting the game winning assist and remaining a presence in attack during a dominant first half and a spell in the second half when Orlando looked for a third goal.