The Lions Claim a 3-1 Victory in a Down Pour at The Citrus Bowl
** Long Tan puts it in the back of the net Sunday evening (Credit: Michael Graham)**
Story by: Kendel Parkinson/ The SkyBoat
ORLANDO - A fairly uneventful first half here at the Fifth-Third Bank Field at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando where the Orlando City Lions faced the Rochester Rhinos. The Orlando squad was able to keep the pressure on their opponents for at least the first 20 minutes of the game, before the thunderstorm would cause a rain delay that would last 56 minutes. Even the fans at the stadium ran inside seeking shelter from the lightning and rain, except for a select few that took the opportunity to briefly run on the field and take a few shots on goal.
The game was able to resume for less than 10 minutes until another lighting storm called for another rain delay, lasting 58 minutes; Making this a total of an hour and fifty-four minutes of delay due to weather circumstances.
The first goal of the match came at the last minute of the first half after a shot by Kevin Molino was blocked by the Rhinos’ goalkeeper, Kristian Nich; this left an open shot for Long Tan and gave the Lions the lead of the game. This was the only goal of the first half. Orlando led at half time by a score of 1-0. As a result of the weather delay, the half time break was cut from 20 minutes to only 7 to make up for the time lost.
Dominic Dwyer contributed with a goal 2 minutes into the second half giving Orlando a 2-0 lead. Bryan Burke assisted the goal as he crossed the ball into the 18-yard box, giving Dwyer an open look at the goal. Orlando reached a 3-goal lead in the 63-minute, courtesy of Jamie Watson.
Even more surprising than the weather delay, the fans were also able to stay focused during the game despite the weather. Their chants and drums were active throughout the entirety of the match helping their home team stay motivated after the lengthy delays.
Rochester did not seem to have an answer to anything that the Lions were doing on the pitch. Orlando was able to control the match from the beginning of the second half, giving their opponents no room for error and making them pay on every opportunity the Lions were able to create. The Rochester rhinos were able to get a goal late in the 90th minute of the match; Blake Brettschneider was the author of the Rhino’s only goal of the match.
It was a decisive victory for the Orlando Soccer City Lions; they now have a record of 2-0-1 to start the season. The Lions now hold an all time record of 5-0-1 over their Rochester rivals. During the post-game conference, coach Adrian Heath was asked to comment on the record, he had this to say: “Yes it is a good record, I hope it continues.”
A good start for the Orlando city Lions squad so far this season, the team comes into this season holding high expectations for the USL 2013 season