Bryce Brimhall / Valencia Voice
ORLANDO — Orlando City had the luxury of playing with a man advantage for 74 minutes but the Lions only managed to earn a point with a 2-2 draw against the Columbus Crew on Saturday in front of an announced attendance of 31,430 at the Citrus Bowl.
The Lions went down 1-0 early when Crew midfielder Tony Tchani scored on a header in the 6th minute to give Columbus the lead.
Kaka made it a tied game 11 minutes later when he finished off a penalty kick for his club leading sixth goal of the season. The penalty was called after Crew defender Michael Parkhurst was given a red card for “Denial of a Goal by handling the ball on the goal line,” putting Columbus down to 10 men.
Orlando City dominated possession for the remaining 30 minutes but still went into the locker room at halftime tied at 1-1. The Lions finished the game with 64.2 percent of possession while outshooting the Crew 23-9 for the match.
“It’s the oldest saying in football, goals change games,” said Orlando City manager Adrian Heath. “And we had too many glorious opportunities to score tonight and we hadn’t done it and it cost us, it cost us two points.”
The Lions only managed to get nine of their 23 shots on target with 15 of the shots coming from inside the 18-yard box.
“Sometimes we have to try smarter not harder,” said Orlando City manager Adrian Heath. “And we might get a bit more reward from it, which we didn’t.”
MLS leading goal scorer Kei Kamara gave Columbus a 2-1 lead in the 61st minute when he scored his 10th goal of the season on a header.
Pedro Ribeiro evened the game at 2-2 when he scored an unassisted goal on a shot from outside the 18-yard box. Ribeiro came into the game in the 72nd minute for Cyle Larin, marking his return to the pitch since suffering a hamstring injury against D.C. United on April 3.
“It means the world to me,” said Ribeiro about his goal after being on the sidelines for seven weeks. “I was really looking forward for a moment like this, to come back and help this team.”
Despite earning the point with the draw Orlando City can’t help but feel like they allowed two points to slip away.
“Feels like we’ve left a couple of points on the table for me,” said Heath following the game. “Obviously when you score late on we had salvaged something from the game, but there’s no way we shouldn’t have taken three points out of this game today.”
“We created I don’t know six, seven critical chances but you don’t take them and then it comes back to bite you and that’s what happened to us today.”
With the draw the Lions record now sits at 3-5-5 (16 points) for the season which currently puts them in sixth in the Eastern Conference standings.
Orlando City’s next game will be on the road against the Chicago Fire on Saturday, June 6 at Toyota Park with an 8:30 p.m. EST kickoff.