Winter with the Winner

By on September 15, 2015

 

ORLANDO, Fla —After six scoreless matches, it was a scoring explosion – and from the unlikeliest of sources.

In the 3rd minute against Sporting KC, change-of-pace starter Adrian Winter scored the fastest goal in club history. After a second by Bryan Rochez, Winter again found the back of the next in the 72nd minute to seal the Lions 3-1 victory. The victory came without Kaka or Darwin Ceren for the Lions.

Winter scores three minutes in (photo WILL OGBURN)

Winter scores three minutes in (photo WILL OGBURN)

Winter celebrates with team-mates three minutes in (photo WILL OGBURN)

Winter celebrates with team-mates three minutes in (photo WILL OGBURN)

During the winless streak, the Orlando City offense sputtered – scoring only one offensive goal in six matches. On Sunday, however, the offense was fluid early. They pushed the ball up the pitch and attacked relentlessly, leading to the early Winter goal.

The surge of momentum seemed to fizzle out, however, as the offense was bogged down for most of the first half. After another quick shot by Eric Avila in the 5th minute, the Lions did not register another shot in the first half. Relying on the back line and keeper Tally Hall, Orlando City held off four unanswered shots to end the half.

Sporting KC goal keeper Joe Kempin was able to one save (photo WILL OGBURN)

Sporting KC goal keeper Joe Kempin was able to one save (photo WILL OGBURN)

In the beginning of the second, it looked like the magic had left the Lions. KC forward Krisztian Nemeth sent one in to tie it up in the 59th minute, and the Lions early barrage began to look more and more like a fluke. But then coach Adrian Heath sent in two subs that changed the landscape of the match. First Bryan Rochez came in for rookie phenom Cyle Larin, then – to a round of deafening applause, Brek Shea took the pitch.

KC's Dom Dwyer had 3 shots (photo WILL OGBURN)

KC’s Dom Dwyer had 3 shots, no goals and  a 87th minute red card (photo WILL OGBURN)

“When you make two substitutions and they have an effect on the game, it makes you look as though you know what you’re doing. I’d like to say it does, but that’s the way it works sometimes.” Said an elated Adrian Heath after the match

That effect was felt almost instantly as Shea fed Rochez on a breakaway, which he sent in to the delight of the nearby supporter section. The new attack featuring Brek and Rochez was firing on all cylinders, opening up an opportunity for Winter’s second goal. Winter celebrated like a kid on Christmas morning, jumping on the barricade and embracing his teammates as the win was all but secured the win in the 72nd minute.

Orlando's Luke Boden (photo WILL OGBURN)

Orlando’s Luke Boden (photo WILL OGBURN)

As if this match didn’t contain enough fireworks, it also saw the return of former Orlando City star Dom Dwyer. Dwyer was an offensive force during Orlando City’s USL Pro days, breaking the league scoring record and netting four goals in their 2013 USL Pro title win. Dom’s return was far from sweet for the Englishman, who failed to score on three shots – as well as being sent off for a violent outburst in the 87th minute. The red card did give Dom an opportunity to walk by the Lions’ faithful on the way to the locker room, who embraced him as one of their own.

Sunday’s win puts the Lions on the brink of the playoff hunt, currently tied with Montreal for the 6th and final spot at 32 points. Due to a scheduling quirk, Montreal has four less games played than nearly every other team in the league, which will make the coming weeks interesting. Orlando City can’t afford to drop any more games, and the upcoming matches against Chicago and the NY Red Bulls on the road are no cupcakes. We will certainly know more when Orlando City returns to the Citrus Bowl against Montreal on October 3rd.

Celebration of the Orlando City 3rd goal scored by Bryan Rocha (photo WILL OGBURN)

Celebration of the Orlando City 3rd goal scored by Bryan Rocha (photo WILL OGBURN)

Winter flexing after his second, which was the game winning goal (photo WILL OGBURN)

Winter flexing after his second, which was the game winning goal (photo WILL OGBURN)

 (photo WILL OGBURN)

Crowd was wired up! (photo WILL OGBURN)

Brek Shea gets carded (photo WILL OGBURN)

Brek Shea gets carded (photo WILL OGBURN)

Here comes Shea (photo WILL OGBURN)

Here comes Shea (photo WILL OGBURN)

Shea shakes (photo WILL OGBURN)

Shea shakes (photo WILL OGBURN)

Adrian Winter celebrates the game winner (photo WILL OGBURN)

Adrian Winter celebrates the game winner (photo WILL OGBURN)

 (photo WILL OGBURN)

(photo WILL OGBURN)

 (photo WILL OGBURN)

(photo WILL OGBURN)

 (photo WILL OGBURN)

(photo WILL OGBURN)

Orlando head coach Adrian Heath (photo WILL OGBURN)

Orlando head coach Adrian Heath wants to play (photo WILL OGBURN)

Adrian Winter battles (photo WILL OGBURN)

Adrian Winter battles (photo WILL OGBURN)

Carlos Rivas (left) and Luke Boden (center) (photo WILL OGBURN)

Carlos Rivas (left) and Luke Boden (center) (photo WILL OGBURN)

Carlos Rivas gets a beat on Matt Besler (5) (photo WILL OGBURN)

Carlos Rivas gets a beat on Matt Besler (5) (photo WILL OGBURN)

 

 

 

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