Kreis’ Revenge: Kaka brace leads Orlando to win over NYCFC

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by DAVE MARTINEZ

The pouring Florida rain did little to cool down Orlando City as the Jason Kreis-led Lions downed New York City FC 2-1 at the Citrus Bowl.

Kaka’s brace led the way for Orlando in a convincing win over their sophomore rivals, giving Jason Kreis a modicum of revenge against his former club. Steven Mendoza notched the only goal for NYCFC.

Pouring rain and whipping winds slowed the match to a crawl in the opening half hour. However, Kaka set the tone for a resilient Orlando performance. The Brazilian playmaker blew past Jefferson Mena from the right side of the box in the 31′ minute, dragging his marker in on net and springing a shot on Josh Saunders. The NYCFC goalkeeper stopped the initial attempt, but Kaka gathered the dribbling rebound and slotted home the second opportunity.

NYCFC answered back in the second half as Steven Mendoza latched onto a Tommy McNamara rebound to tie the match at 1-1 in the 55′ minute.

But the lead did not last long. After drawing a penalty in the area on Maxime Chanot, Kaka beat Saunders from the spot to put Orlando ahead for good. Kevin Molino nearly made it 3-1 were it not for a diving, goal line stop from defender Ronald Matarrita who risked his body on the play, slamming into the near post.

The Lions controlled much of the match, neutralizing the efforts of NYCFC standouts David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo. NYCFC began controlling the better of possession in the latter half of the encounter but could not create a dangerous chance on net.

NYCFC (11-8-8, 41 pts.) maintain their second place standing in the East. They now move on to face DC United this Thursday at Yankee Stadium.