|Allison Petro / OCSC|
By Mike Gramajo
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Trialist Mark Howard’s 88h minute goal salvaged Orlando City SC, as they went on to play in a 1-1 draw against Toronto FC on Saturday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex during day two of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic.
“We take off with our chances, we should of won the game,” OCSC head coach Adrian Heath told reporters after the game. “I think as the game wore on, the more we got into our rhythm. We’re getting there, we’re getting better.”
Kyle Bekker gave TFC the early 1-0 lead in the 13th minute, when he scored off a penalty kick after defensive error in Orlando’s back line resulted into a foul. OCSC would find the game-tying goal after midfielder Darwin Ceren’s corner found Howard who managed to poke his head near the goal line for the equalizer.
Despite the early deficit, the Lions went on to create and miss several chances for an equalizer, outshooting Toronto in the first half 7-4. Austin da Luz, Corey Hertzog and Kevin Molino all had several chances late in the first half, especially a rocket shot from outside the box in the 33rd minute from Molino, which just went over the cross bar.
Orlando City finished the game outscoring the Reds 18-7, and with 11 of those shots coming in the second half which saw Toronto play midfielder Michael Bradley and forward Dwayne DeRosario.
With a second consecutive tie, Orlando can still manage to contend for a consolation match and finish second in their pool in a must-win game vs. Columbus Crew on Wednesday, February 26 at 6:00 p.m..