Depleted by injuries and international call-ups, Orlando City SC saw the Brazilian legend and Ribeiro combine for two goals in quick succession to grind out a 2-2 draw against the Montreal Impact Saturday at the Olympic Stadium.
Down 2-0 in the 29th minute, Orlando got one back after Marco Donadel failed to intercept Luke Boden’s cut back from the left to the top of the box. Kaká’s touch sent the ball into Ribeiro's path, and the forward slotted it home past Impact goalkeeper Eric Kronberg.
A minute later, Ribeiro returned the favor to Kaká by intercepting a Bakary Soumare pass destined to Donadel near the center circle - one of several Orlando recoveries in that area of the field in the first half. As Kaká took the left channel, Ribeiro ran at Wandrille Lefèvre and slipped the ball to his teammate, who beat Kronberg at his far post.
Montreal had taken a quick lead 14 minutes in, after referee Ted Unkel pointed to the spot for a Sean St. Ledger handball in the box. Ignacio Piatti stepped up and squeezed his shot under Donovan Ricketts, who had dived to his left. Piatti got booked for his celebration in which he he saluted his grandfather by revealing a message in a shirt under his jersey.
Jack McInerney doubled Montreal’s lead with a highlight-reel goal in the 27th minute. McInerney chased Seb Hines, who tried to head a long ball back to Boden, but the Impact forward reached the ball before the Orlando City left back. Seeing Ricketts out of position, McInerney lifted the ball high over Ricketts and into the empty net.
The Lions took the initiative with the score at 2-2, but neither team forced a save from the opposition ‘keeper. Montreal were back on the front foot after the break, working the ball wide in an attempt to isolate the Lions’ wingbacks – mostly Boden on the left. Orlando’s back five contained Montreal, however, with St. Ledger and Aurélien Collin proving their worth with great help down the left.
Orlando City will be back in action next Friday, April 3, when D.C. United pay them a visit at the Citrus Bowl. Montreal, meanwhile, will enjoy a bye week in preparation for the away leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal tie against Alajuelense on Tuesday, April 7.