New York City FC lament sluggish start, missed chances in Orlando loss

NEW YORK – New York City FC did everything but score Friday night against Orlando City SC.

Well, everything but score and win.

Despite an onslaught of opportunities and half chances, NYCFC walked out of Yankee Stadium empty handed after a 1-0 loss, with nothing more than a plethora of missed opportunities to show for their effort.

"You have to give credit to Orlando," head coach Patrick Vieira said in his post match press conference. "They came here, worked hard and managed to win the game. With luck, that is part of the game."

Cyle Larin picked up where he left off last season, scoring just seven minutes into the encounter. That goal was his sixth in three matches all-time against NYCFC. 

But Larin was hardly the problem for NYCFC; he came off early in the second half along with Italian Designed Player Antonio Nocerino, while Orlando were also without Brazilian star Kaka. A lax start to the match marred what was an overwhelmingly positive performance from the home side.

"I am really disappointed because I think we managed to play well, especially in the second half, but we gave away the game in the first 10 minutes," Vieira said. "The way we entered the game wasn't good at all. Then, it was easy for them to defend and counterattack. We tried to move the ball quick, but it wasn't for us tonight."

The stat sheet certainly speaks to NYCFC's efforts. The home side managed 66-percent possession on the evening, outpacing Orlando's passing game by nearly 300 attempts and forcing the visiting Lions into nearly five times as many clearance attempts throughout the match.

By the end of the night, however, the scoreline was the only stat that mattered.

"We went into the game with not enough desire, enough concentration. We were a little too sloppy, and we made it easy for them," Vieira said. "But I think we played better than we played against Toronto. I was really pleased with the way we tried to play. We created some chances but I was pleased with the way we moved the ball around the pitch.

"The players gave everything in the second half, in the last 80 minutes I would say. They gave everything to come back, and that's why I am really frustrated tonight because we gave the game away," he continued. "The last 75-80 minutes, we controlled the game, played positively, created chances, but the first 15 minutes were not good at all."