Saturday night's match between Orlando City SC and the Colorado Rapids had it all, ranging from an hour-plus weather delay, lead changes, superstar controversy and history made. When all was said and done, the Lions escaped with a 4-3 win over the Western Conference visitors, earning their first home victory of the 2019 season.
Matters got underway in the 9th minute, when Kei Kamara capitalized on an Orlando miscue at the back to make it 1-0. That strike, which pushed Kamara up fifth on the all-time goals scored list in MLS, was quickly negated before halftime. Nani scored his first-ever goal in MLS in the 31st minute, heading at the back post, only for Tesho Akindele to add another in the 33rd.
During halftime, lightning prompted a weather delay of one hour and one minute, from which Colorado emerged as the aggressor. That provided a platform for Nicolas Mezquida heading home an equalizer in the 61st, then Cole Bassett curly home a left-footed beauty to make it 3-2 in the 71st.
Orlando, no stranger to high-octane games at home, roared back once second-year winger Chris Mueller was subbed in. The University of Wisconsin product slotted home in the 81st, only for Nani to bag the eventual game-winner in the 89th minute on a penalty kick.
- 9' – COL – Kei Kamara | WATCH
- 31' – ORL – Nani | WATCH
- 33' – ORL – Tesho Akindele | WATCH
- 61' – COL – Nicolas Mezquida | WATCH
- 71' – COL – Cole Bassett | WATCH
- 82' – ORL – Chris Mueller | WATCH
- 89' – ORL – Nani (PK) | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: For the first time in the 2019 season, Orlando City earned all three points at home, ending a stretch of two-straight losses before a friendly crowd. They had to crawl out of yet another early hole, but proved gutsy in a topsy-turvy encounter that had more twists and turns than a Hollywood thriller. As for Colorado, they surely feel like points were left on the table after leading as deep as the 80th minute.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: When Kei Kamara entered the 2019 season, Ante Razov was next up to pass on the all-time goals list in MLS. Consider it mission accomplished for the 34-year-old striker, whose 9th minute goal gives him 115 for his career. Add in playoff strikes and Kamara has 126 throughout 332 career games in MLS – spanning seven different clubs.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: If nothing else, Nani made the price of admission worth it. The Designated Player bagged a brace – his first two goals in MLS – and provided some controversy deep into the second half. He looked to head-butt two different players on the Rapids, but head referee Jair Marrufo didn’t pull out the red card. The moment is bound to be debated for days to come.