By Mike Gramajo
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — After three weeks of USL Pro action, Orlando City SC finally earned their first victory of the 2014 campaign.
Goals from Kevin Molino, Rob Valentino and Dennis Chin helped pave the way for Orlando as they went on to claim a 3-1 win over the Rochester Rhinos on Saturday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, in front of 4,776 spectators.
“I’m pleased that we won the game, I’m pleased that we scored three goals. I’m not pleased with the way we played,” Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath told reporters after the game. “Collectively we were poor, I’m really disappointed in our decision making and if we play like that, we will get beat, I guarantee that.
“We did deserve to win the game last week, tonight I’m not so sure. It’s their (Rochester) first game, if they had been in three or four games into the season, they would of scored more. I stickup for my players all the time, but it’s too difficult to do so tonight.”
The Lions took the lead in the opening minutes after Defender Tyler Turner founds Kevin Molino in a low-cross, who then capitalized on the pass for the 1-0 lead in the second minute.
Adrian Heath’s men continued their dominance in possession in the first half, but it was their set pieces that helped double the lead for the Lions. Midfielder Austin da Luz played a corner kick, which resulted into Yordany Alvarez firing a shot, which hit off a wall of Rochester defenders. Defender Rob Valentino was able to execute on the rebound and double City’s lead 2-0 in the 35th minute.
Miguel Gallardo’s chance for a clean-sheet was soon spoiled after a bad giveaway from midfielder Aodhan Quinn gave Rhinos forward JC Banks the clear-cut chance to slide the ball past Gallardo from close range in the 54th minute.
With Rochester playing more of an aggressive second-half, Heath made several changes to the midfield, bringing forward Dennis Chin, and midfielders Adama Mbengue, Mikey Lopez to help a depleted Orlando forward line.
Dennis Chin, who was subbed in the 71st minute for Corey Hertzog, wasted no time in giving Orlando the insurance goal after he was able to execute on a rebound from a low-cross from Kevin Molino for the 3-1 lead.
OCSC got the best of the Rhinos when it came to shots, outshooting the Rochester side 8-4 in the first half, finishing 14-9 for the game in favor of Orlando.
Defender Luke Boden, who has been the catalyst for Orlando in the last two matches, was more quiet in the left flanks after being heavily guarded by Rochester’s line of midfielders and defenders. Meanwhile, defender Tyler Turner had some difficulties in challenging for the 50/50 ball.
With the victory, Orlando City sit provisionally in first place of the USL Pro standings with five points, and they return to Disney World when they take on Charleston Battery on Saturday, April 12 with a 7:30 kickoff.