Sporting Kansas City played spoilers at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday night, as Latif Blessing scored a brace in his first MLS start to earn a 2-2 draw for the visitors and force Orlando City SC to drop points at home for the first time since their new stadium opened.
The 20-year old Ghanian had only played 36 minutes this season before replacing the suspended Dom Dwyer, and was in the right place at the right time on both sides of the half for tap-in goals from close range.
The draw spoils what would otherwise have been a solid effort from the home side, who had been hoping to extend their winning start in their new stadium thanks to a pair of quality first half goals, which both featured the mercurial Brazilian captain.
Orlando thought they had scored a 76th-minute winner when Jose Aja's corner kick header hit the back of the net, but the goal was disallowed after the assistant referee ruled that Will Johnson's corner kick had crossed the end line before curling back toward the penalty area.
- 9' – SKC – Latif Blessing Watch
- 23' – ORL – Cyle Larin Watch
- 26' – ORL – Kaká Watch
- 74' – SKC – Latif Blessing Watch
- THE STREAK IS OVER, LONG LIVE THE STREAK: Orlando finally didn't win at home. After opening the season with five straight wins at their new stadium, SKC's late equalizer ruined the party. The good times are sure to continue, however, as the Lions are finally roaring from all sides. The return of Kaká to his playmaker role, the return of Jose Aja to partner Jonathan Spector in defense, and the budding partnership of Carlos Rivas and Larin up top mean more wins are surely on the horizon.
- WHO NEEDS DOM DWYER when you've got Latif Blessing? Sure, he scored two tap-ins. Sure, the goals weren't flashy. But the young striker always seemed to be in the right place at the right time and his runs between the Orlando defense stretched the field all night long. In order for SKC to be successful this season they need the goals to come from more places than just Dwyer. With the double on Saturday, SKC have now scored two goals or more in three of their past four and things are looking up on the offensive end.
- CLASSY KAKÁ IS OFFICIALLY BACK: The ageless wonder was simply spectacular in both of Orlando's goals. For the opener, he set up the entire opportunity with his ambitious run in midfield and his one-two passing before the ball fell to Rivas for his pinpoint delivery to Larin. In the second he showed what made him a worldwide star when he made a double touch off his chest in the box to ensure the ball fell comfortably to his right foot so he could slot inside the far post.