Orlando City scores early, holds on for first win

It didn’t take long last week for Orlando City (1-0-2, 5 points) to net its first goal of the match.

And who better than Cyle Larin, who scored OCSC’s lone goal a week ago, to score the game’s only goal to lead the club to a 1-0 first win of the season over New York City FC (1-1-1, 4 points) in Yankee Stadium Friday night.

With no more than seven minutes played in both clubs’ third match of the season, a raging Rafael Ramos, from the right, crossed a ball high over the top of New York goalkeeper Josh Saunders that landed perfectly for a Larin header.

That would be it for scoring action. That’s not to say there weren’t plenty of opportunities, though. New York dominated possession, as they maintained the ball 66 percent of the time, compared to Orlando’s 34 percent.

Additionally, the Orlando City defense was mightily tested on corner kicks. Throughout the match, Lions goalkeeper Joe Bendik and his defense saw a flurry of 12 corner kicks invade the box from New York midfielder Andrea Pirlo.

New York’s closest chance at an equalizer came off of a Steven Mendoza shot that ricocheted hard off of Orlando City’s right post in the 73rd minute. NYCFC outshot Orlando City 16-10, as the Lions held onto their narrow lead for 83 minutes of the match. Orlando City amassed 40 tackles compared to New York’s 25.

Orlando City returns home to the Citrus Bowl on Sunday, April 3, to face reigning MLS Cup champions Portland Timbers at 8 p.m.

Nocerino, Larin go down

Without perennial team captain Ricardo Kaká, the team has fared well, drawing in two matches and winning one. The task of keeping the ship afloat may become just a little more difficult following Friday’s 1-0 win over New York.

In the 54th minute, Antonio Nocerino was officially replaced by Servando Carrasco, who had started the team’s first two matches. A little after the 50-minute mark, Nocerino walked himself off the pitch as trainers attended to him.

No more than a few minutes later did Larin succumb to a substitute-warranting injury also. Pedro Ribeiro came in for Larin at the 55th minute.

Update: According to Ives Galarcep of SBISoccer.com, Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath said Larin left the game because he was sick, not because of injury.

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