By Mike Gramajo
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Orlando City SC and AS Roma looked equally matched, but the legend of Fransesco Totti proved a different case otherwise.
Roma defeated Orlando City 1-0, on Friday night in a international friendly played in front of 5,029 fans at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
“It was a monumental effort from our players,” said OCSC head coach Adrian Heath. “We expected to make a better showing. We showed everyone we can play football.”
Totti gave the Serie A side the lead in the 20th minute after Orlando City defender Brad Rusin clearance of the ball found the legendary striker, who smashed home a volley from long-range past the goalkeeper.
Despite conceding early, the Lions continued with their wave of attacks, but most of their efforts resulted into offside angles. Trialist forward Kane Hemmings could of equalized the match in the 32nd minute after Luke Boden found the striker, who rifled in a low shot past the keeper, but the sideline referee denied the goal after he signaled offside.
Roma looked to increase the lead in the 54th minute after Totti dribbled past the Orlando City defense, chipping the ball past the trialist Orlando goalkeeper, leaving Rusin to make the goal-line clearance to keep the 1-0 in favor of Roma.
OCSC last chance of scoring came in the 77th minute when Kevin Molino found Corey Hertzog unmarked in the center box, leaving Hertzog to drill the ball through the net, only for it to be whistled offside.
Orlando City look to regroup ahead of Wednesday’s crucial third round U.S. Open Cup match against I-4 rivals Tampa Bay Rowdies at the Seminole Soccer Complex.