ORLANDO – Charlotte FC will be relieved to be going back home as they suffered their 5th away defeat of the season in their 1 - 2 loss against Orlando.
It was a good first ten minutes for Charlotte FC as they picked up where they left off in the second half of the Colorado Rapids match. They took the game to Orlando – pressing high, combining quickly, and looking in total control of the match.
The early dominance was short-lived as momentum started shifting Orlando’s way around the 10th minute. Orlando took advantage of Charlotte’s lack of width by focusing their attacks out wide.
It was a sequence that was created and finished out wide that opened up the scoring for Orlando when right back Ruan slotted a chance away in the 16th minute. Orlando didn’t let up and kept CLTFC on the back foot.
It looked like Charlotte was going to go into the half only down by one goal but a 45th minute CLTFC corner turned into a disaster leading to a goal the other way. Orlando was gifted a chance when there were no CLTFC players back to defend after sending 10 players up on the corner kick. Ruan once again was involved when he laid the ball off to Facundo Torres who scored their second.
The Crown started the second half better but still looked far from ever mounting a comeback. That was until the 60th minute when Charlotte’s Alan Franco was fouled for a penalty. The captain, Christian Fuchs, stepped up and calmly converted the penalty.
After the penalty, Orlando began to slow the game down as they tried to keep their lead. But some substitutes around the 70th minute from Charlotte injected some new life into the team.
CLTFC threw attack after attack trying to penetrate Orlando’s fortress of purple jerseys. In what was a CLTFC siege that seemed to have lasted forever, Orlando came away victorious.
After their embarrassing 3 - 0 loss the previous week, Orlando was on a redemption mission. Apart from the opening 10 minutes and the final stages of the match, Orlando looked like the apex predator on their crest. Lions.
For most of the night, the Crown was their prey. They hunted as a pride, swarming to every ball, every 50/50, and every touch that Charlotte FC made. It paid dividends as they managed to score two goals in the first half which, despite the late push by Charlotte FC, was enough to get the win.
This match wrapped up the last of the three straight away games for the Crown. It was always going to be tough, but Charlotte will be disappointed to have come away with only one point in their three league matches.
The good news is that Charlotte will now have three straight matches at home to make up some points in front of their fans.