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  • Writer's pictureDan Berridge

Analysis: Columbus Crew (h). Orlando Fightback To Secure Memorable Win.

Wow! This certainly wasn't a game for those of a nervous disposition. It was probably one of the most memorable, thrilling and pulsating victories in Orlando City history. The sort of win that makes you believe a team is destined for great things in a season.


A 4-3 win was probably the last thing anyone of a purple persuasion expected as Columbus raced into a 3-1 lead after the interval.


As a footballing contest this was a game that had everything. Defensively speaking it was one of Orlando's worst performances of the season. Weirdly, it wasn't one of their best attacking performances either. The fact that they hugely outperformed their XG of 1.3, by scoring 4 goals probably tells you everything you need to know.


But, still. It had heart, grit, determination and several moments of outstanding quality in addition to some horrific defending from both clubs.


It was a combination of some amateurish Columbus defending and some lethal Ramiro Enrique finishing that gave Orlando City the three points.


And that's all that really matters at this stage of the season.


*Scan the QR code below to get this year's Orlando City Kick Childhood Cancer pre-match Avengers top*


A never say die attitude


We can question Orlando's defensive frailties (and believe me we will), but we cannot question their spirit. This is something that is difficult to quantify by any of the usual metrics. We can usually point to things like, duels and tackles won, and then use that to justify our beliefs on how much a team deserved to win a game. But, as the numbers show (figures 1 & 2), there's no discernible 'winner' in that regard. The teams were pretty even.


Orlando just never gave up. And you can't put a number on that. They possessed a shear pig-headedness befitting of a team that has won 7 out of its last 9 games in MLS.


This is a team that just doesn't want to be beaten. It's one that just keeps going in the face of insurmountable odds. The refusal to ever lie down and accept defeat is vital for any team that has championship aspirations. The will to win has to be absolute.


People will form their own opinions on whether or not Orlando City can win MLS Cup.


But it's pretty damn clear the team thinks it can.


Figure 1 shows the defensive statistics for both teams.


Figure 2 shows the duelling statistics for both teams.


Defensive frailties


Defensively it was a shambles. Particularly for the second goal. Schlegel gets sucked into a dangerous spot and Diego Rossi has all the time in the world to pick his spot (figure 3). It's great having all of the determination this team has, so you know they never say die. But it's always better to not get hurt in the first place. At 3-1 this was Orlando...



The other two goals are horrendous too. Everyone is caught ball watching for the first, after Cucho Hernández is inexplicably allowed to dart into the Orlando area, no-one spots Julian Gressel and it's an easy finish.


As for the third goal, the whole defence is just at sixes and sevens.


Thank the maker for Ramiro Enrique.


Figure 3 is a game still from before the third goal.


*Scan the QR code below to get this year's Orlando City Kick Childhood Cancer pre-match Avengers top*


Top player


Ramiro Enrique



Enrique had arguably his most important moment for Orlando City in this game. Enrique ran tirelessly all evening and was duly rewarded with 2 clutch moments to win the game for Orlando. Columbus may have gifted the opportunities to the erstwhile Banfield striker. He had an XGOT of 1.23 which only serves to underline how clinical he was.


Player ratings


Starting XI


Gallese -6- Was hung out to dry for both goals.


Þórhallsson -6- Got exposed a few times.

Schlegel -5- Awful positioning at times.

Jansson -6- Not his best games.

Santos -6- Struggled defensively.


Felipe -7- Had a couple of good moments.

Araujo -6- Caught out a few times by midfield runners.


Ojeda -8- One of his best games.

Pereyra -6- Largely anonymous.

Angulo -8- A threat all evening.


Enrique -9- Match winner.


Substitutes


Torres -8- Class.

Petrasso -6- Looked out of practice.

Halliday -6- Provided fresh energy.

Lynn -6- Good to see her get a chance.


Reaction


Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja


"We feel very proud and proud of the support that we received tonight from the fans and the energy that they bring. Today was another demonstration of the character of this group and I want to honor that responsibility and that desire to overcome. It’s not easy to score goals when the team doesn't look good. After it being 3-1, the team believed in the process and believed in the ways we can keep our mentality intact. We went for them, and we got them. It was very well deserved by the players. Once again, there are still a lot of things we need to get better at, but today it is a very good demonstration of character, and we are proud.”




*All statistics courtesy of fotmob.com and FlashScore.co.uk

Top player image and cover image courtesy of Orlando City SC.

Game still courtesy of MLS/Apple TV.

Post match media availability footage and b-roll footage courtesy of Orlando City SC.


*Scan the QR code below to get this year's Orlando City Kick Childhood Cancer pre-match Avengers top*


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