For James O’Connor, who managed his first game for the Lions on Saturday, everything seemed to be going the right way until a certain moment finished the game on a sour note for his team.
“The way it finished, where we go from potentially 2-2 to then losing 4-1, that’s something that really frustrated all of us,” O’Connor said before Wednesday’s training sessions. “For us, it’s been very intentional on how we go about things and what we’re willing to accept and not accept.”
Orlando City looked on the verge of a comeback during last Saturday’s game at Banc of California Stadium. Trailing 2-0 entering the second half, Sacha Kljestan pulled one back in the 59th minute, and in the 72nd minute, it appeared as if Dom Dwyer scored the game-tying goal. The apparent equalizer, however, was eventually called back following Video Review, ruling Justin Meram was offside before setting up Dwyer for the shot.
LAFC eventually scored back-to-back goals late in the second half to put the game away.
Despite the result, O’Connor saw several positives in the squad's performance.
“The reaction has been great,” said O’Connor. “When you look at the course of the game, the goal was disallowed, that obviously is a big moment. We had some big moments in the game, had some good chances to score, and we didn’t. Now equally, for me, they had too many chances, I think equally when you look at the amount of chances they had, it was quite an open game, but they’ve got one of the best teams in the Western Conference and we’ve gone to their home patch and we’ve give them a really good game.”
O’Connor said upon arriving to the club, he noticed the team was rocked with a low in confidence. Right back RJ Allen agrees, saying all the team needs is one positive result to inspire any sort of run.
“In game moments, we definitely lack confidence a little bit,” said Allen. “The good thing about this is we’re not far from that playoff picture, and in this league if you string two wins in a row, you’re right back in the mix.”