Tue, 20 Oct 2020

Orlando City looks to extend unbeaten streak vs. KC

Field Level Media
22 Sep 2020, 08:55 GMT+10

Orlando City SC will aim to extend its unbeaten run in league play to a club-record seven matches on Wednesday when the Lions travel to Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City for a midweek clash against Sporting Kansas City.

The Lions (6-2-4, 22 points) are tied for third place in the crowded Eastern Conference, five points behind Columbus Crew SC for the top spot, following a comfortable 4-1 win over the Chicago Fire at a soaked Exploria Stadium.

Chris Mueller got the party started early for the hosts after just 11 minutes, and Nani doubled the lead on 24 minutes.

Pedro Gallese saved a penalty in the first half and conceded one to Robert Beric to make the score 2-1 just three minutes after the break. Junior Urso and Benji Michel scored second-half goals.

"I think it was a roller coaster of a game today with a rival that came here with initiatives and an idea of the game that was very clear," Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja said. "That just makes us enjoy our victory much more because we beat a great team today in Chicago.

"We had courage all the time to overcome the difficult moments. As I said, that roller coaster at the end, we were consistent in trying to get up front and be aggressive and then we scored four goals, which is not easy in this league."

Sporting Kansas City (6-4-2, 20 points) comes in looking to right the ship. They are winless in five of their past six matches.

Despite the dip in form, Peter Vermes' side sits second in the Western Conference, just a point behind the Seattle Sounders.

Last time out, SKC suffered a 3-2 loss to FC Dallas at Children's Mercy Park despite a second-half double from Johnny Russell, which brought the hosts back from a 2-0 deficit.

Sporting's defense failed to hold, and Ryan Hollingshead netted the winner for Dallas four minutes from time.

"I thought we were fine," Vermes said post-game. "At a point in the first half, we lost the ball in situations one after another on defensive plays and on the first goal where we didn't defend the box, which put us in a tough situation.

"I would say we didn't give a lot away, but unfortunately, what we gave away was because of mistakes on our part," Vermes added. "Giving the ball away in easy spots is what I think two of the goals came off of -- really easy spots. They did a good job to finish those chances."

--Field Level Media

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