Orlando City succumbs to late-game draw

Julio Baptista looked to have scored the game-winning goal, but Shea Salinas’ strike at the death negated the Lions from picking up three points.

Playing in the first game since the Pulse Nightclub tragedy, Orlando City were held to a 2-2 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night in front of 37,194 in attendance at Camping World Stadium.

“It’s really frustrating, we need to turn some of these draws into victories,” Orlando coach Adrian Heath said. “We need to get some more points on the board. It’s frustrating, but we have to keep working hard and hopefully we turn draws into victories because this team is capable of winning games.”

A pair of second-half substitutions changed the dynamic of the game after a scoreless first half, which also saw the Lions (3-3-8, 17 points) fail to convert on several scoring chances.

Seb Hines gave Heath’s men the early lead after heading in a corner-kick ball from Adrian Winter in the 66th minute.

Salinas, who entered the game in the 61st minute for Alberto Quintero, assisted Chad Barrett’s equalizing goal in the 85th minute. But it wasn’t until stoppage time when the drama truly unfolded.

Substitutes from both teams continued to play a factor late in the game, especially when Carlos Rivas entered the match for Winter shortly after Barrett’s goal.

The Colombian winger whipped in a ball toward the center of the box, connecting with Baptista, who struck the half volley past David Bingham during the first minute of second-half stoppage time.

Salinas, again, played the protagonist for the Earthquakes as the midfielder secured Dominic Kinnear’s men a draw on the road after striking from close range past Joe Bendik. 

Despite the draw, the Earthquakes (5-4-6, 21 points) extend their winless run to four games. Orlando City are 14 games unbeaten at home with its last lost dating back to last season.

Orlando City hosts Toronto FC next week at 7:30 p.m.

(SaJorden Miller / Correspondent)  

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