ORLANDO – A late second half goal gave USL-Pro side Orlando City a 1-0 upset victory over Toronto FC in the third-place consolation match at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic on Saturday night.
It was Ian Fuller who netted the game-winner in the 76th minute, just four minutes after coming into the match. He showed off his fresh legs, outrunning the Toronto defenders to a through ball into the box, rounding goalkeeper Milos Kocic and depositing into the net from a tight angle.
It was another spirited match by Orlando City against an MLS team, after their narrow 1-0 loss to FC Dallas in the opening match. They also defeated the Philadelphia Union on Feb. 19 in their first ever game since relocating from Austin, Texas.
[inline_node:329487]Toronto FC, meanwhile, struggled to find any rhythm to the possession passing game that is being implemented by new Dutch coach Aron Winter. Orlando City was able to capitalize on several TFC giveaways in dangerous spots on the field, while Toronto labored to create scoring opportunities of their own with their best looks coming on long distance shots from Nick Soolsma and Adrian Cann in the first half.
The locals enjoyed the better of the play in the first half, with winger Jamie Watson proving dangerous all across the attacking front. On two occasions he nearly connected on crosses from Lewis Neal. The former Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas player then dislocated his left shoulder just before the half, forcing him out of the match.
Kocic played the full 90 minutes ahead of regular Stefan Frei, and was busy throughout the match, particularly in the first half. He stopped a point-blank shot from forward Maxwell Griffin in the opening minutes and then midway through the first half dove to his left to stop a dipping free kick from Neal.
Orlando thought they had opened the scoring in the 30th minute when Yordany Alvarez knocked home a rebound from a Watson shot which was initially saved by Kocic. However, the referee called the goal back for an offside position by Alvarez.
Aside from the late goal by Fuller, the opportunities were few in the second half as the wear of preseason began to show on both sides. One highlight came from Toronto’s Keith Makubuya, who showed off his speed down the left side just seconds after coming into the match, running onto a pass and firing a shot which forced the Orlando ‘keeper to make the stop.
ORL – Fuller (76’)
Toronto FC Lineup (4-3-3, left to right): Milos Kocic -- Mikael Yourassowsky (46’ Ashtone Morgan), Adrian Cann (46’ Demitrius Omphroy), Chris Hunter, Dan Gargan – Ivo de Heus, Dwayne De Rosario (68’ Maicon Santos), Matt Stinson (46’ Nick LaBrocca) -- Javier Martina (67’ Keith Makubuya), Jamal Gay (46’ Gianluca Zavarise), Nick Soolsma (46’ Jacob Peterson)
CAUTIONS: De Rosario (19’), Gargan (67’)
Orlando City Lineup (4-4-2, left to right): Miguel Gallardo (46’ Sean Kelley) – Mechack Jerome, Phillip Jackson, Demar Stewart, Jack Traynor (78’ Frankie Lopez) – Lewis Neal, Luke Boden (84’ Wes Allen), Justin Fojo (72’ Ian Fuller), Jamie Watson (43’ Jose Burciaga, Jr.) – Yordany Alvarez (78’ Gaucho), Maxwell Griffin (81’ Dennis Chin)
CAUTIONS: Boden (57’)
Referee: Sorin Stoica
Assistant Referees: Kermit Quisenberry, Corey Parker
Fourth Official: Abdel Kuttaineh
Check out the Feb. 24 edition of the ExtraTime Radio podcast, featuring D.C. United's Charlie Davies, Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando and league executive Nelson Rodriguez talking about the new playoff structure.