Analysis: Inter Fort Lauderdale (h). Orlando City drop points as visitors battle to a draw.
It's hard to argue that this draw was anything but a fair result, as frustrating as that might be. It was game of precious little quality, more akin to a 'Rocky' movie than a football match. The 31 fouls recorded, was actually a surprisingly low number, given the complexion of the game. Orlando battled well, although this feels like two points dropped regardless.
This is why you don't forfeit games in Major League Soccer, as we did in New York. There was always a chance either Miami or Atlanta were going to get something. Fortunately New England missed the chance to establish further daylight between ourselves and them. The game against FC Cincinnati on Saturday now takes on added significance; that game surely becomes must win now.
An evenly fought game
This was, ultimately and arguably, a game the statistics were somewhat misleading. The Lions had 14 shots on goal, had 57% of the possession and 89% passing accuracy (figure 1). Let me tell you one thing, it sure didn't feel like that sort of game. Orlando were unable to dominate possession for any significant period of time, particularly during the second 45 (figure 2). The possession average for the Lions was actually only around about 49.4%, which sort of gives you an indication of the 'to-and-fro' nature of this game.
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The shooting statistics are, perhaps, the most misleading of all. There were 14 shots, 4 on target for the Lions. Orlando had an overall XG of exactly 1 (figure 3). Miami, for all their bluster had an XG of 0.2! Only 3 of Orlando's shots had a double digit XG percentage rating. This doesn't even include the goal, which was only rated as a 7.42% chance. Which makes sense, especially given what happened to Antonio Carlos when he scored that goal. Well wishes go with him of course.
Of the aforementioned 3 shots, 2 belonged to Nani; his 18th minute header, 28.09%, and his 73rd minute left-footer, 10.24%. The other shot was Silvester Van Der Water's right footed slice, 11.08%. None of which were clear scoring opportunities.
There were precious few, clear-cut, scoring opportunities in this game. Neither side seemed able to manipulate possession, and move the ball around quickly enough in order to manifest serious chances. And that's the principle reason the spoils ended up being shared.
Figure 1 shows the overall statistics for both sides (Orlando, left), whole 90.
Figure 2 shows the average possession statistics for both sides, whole 90.
Figure 3 shows the XG statistics for both sides, whole 90.
Another positive game for Mason Stajduhar
This might seem like something of an oxymoron to some, given how little he had to do in the overall context of the game, but Stajduhar was impressive. His concentration levels week excellent; this allowed him to make plays when needed. The best example of this can be found in figure 4. Julián Carranza is presented with a gift by Kyle Smith, he was on his toes and alert to the danger. It was a point saving... er, save. Mason also had a 91% pass success rate, and generally just looked very assured when claiming loose balls. Bravo, sir.
Figure 4 shows a clip of Stajduhar's save on Carranza.
I feel like this has to go to the likeable Brazilian, sheerly just for the immense bravery he showed to get that goal, but also for the strength of will he showed on the touchline. It was clear to see that he was desperate to go back in. Thankfully the correct decision was made, with his safety in mind. He also had a pretty solid half; 1 tackle, 2 interceptions, 1 clearance and 1 block. He also had a pass completion rate of 95.7% on 47 passes. Not a bad 45 minutes work, let's hope he can make a quick and safe recovery.
Starting XI Stajduhar -7- Was alert at all times. Smith -7- Goal saving header was heroic. Back pass after the equaliser? Not so much. Antonio Carlos -7- Solid performance, and even better goal. Tremendous bravery. Jansson -7- Solid enough performance. Ruan -6- Should've done better with the goal, but was a threat going forward. Perea -7- Got around the pitch well and used possession effectively. Urso -6- Not his best game. Pereyra -6- He's decidedly off-colour. Some passes were sublime. Others atrocious. Nani -7- Not his best game, but not his worst either. Michel -6- Precious little space to operate in. Mueller -5- Worked hard but largely anonymous.
Substitutes Rosell -4- Awful when he came in. Akindele -6- Unlucky not to get the goal, but was probably the correct call. Van Der Water -7- Lively and industrious.
Schlegel -7- Solid enough, seemed to marshall their forwards well.
Mas -7- Surprised he didn't come in earlier. Would've provided more balance.
*All statistics courtesy of mlssoccer.com and whoscored.com
NB As with the Pride post earlier, this article will look different to it's usual format. Technical issues with Wix mean I can't use any embeds, certain fonts and a few other bits and pieces. Hopefully it will be sorted soon.
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