BRIDGEVILLE, Pa. – Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath said it would have been “a travesty” had his side not rescued a late point from Saturday’s United Soccer Leagues Pro Division clash at Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Kevin Molino’s equalizer two minutes into added time salvaged a 1-1 tie for visitors just 24 hours after Orlando had shared four goals at Dayton Dutch Lions.
“When I look back over the 90 minutes, I find it incredible that we haven’t won the game,” Heath told The Soccer Observer.
“Our football at times going forward was excellent,” Heath said. “We’ve got a concern that we’re not getting enough end product for what we do.”
The USL Pro Division leaders dominated most of the first hour with Molino and Senegalese teenager Adama Mbengue impressing on the wings. Mbengue was making his third appearance for Orlando since being promoted from the club’s Under-23 roster on June 21 – the first City player to make that jump. The link-up play between Orlando’s midfield and forwards Max Griffin and Dennis Chin frequently broke down before a shooting chance was created.
“That’s something we’re working on,” Heath said. “Whether that’s personnel or whether we aren’t doing enough work in the right areas remains to be seen.
“We’re looking at both.”
Pittsburgh should have punished Orlando’s bluntness from the penalty spot on 59 minutes after Ian Fuller was deemed to have bundled Riverhounds forward Mike Seth to the turf.
“Dubious at best,” said Heath about the decision. It didn’t matter. Miguel Gallardo saved Rich Costanzo’s kick low to his right and the Pittsburgh defender scooped the rebound over the crossbar from six yards.
The Orlando goalkeeper was beaten on 82 minutes after his defense failed to clear Seth’s long throw. Former New York Red Bulls midfielder Matt Kassel stole in at the back post to redirect substitute Darren Amoo’s effort inside Gallardo’s far corner with a well-guided header.
Orlando stayed with their principles and continued trying to work the ball neatly into the final third as the clock ticked down. They finally received their reward when Molino raced onto substitute Matt Luzunaris’ lay-off on the right side of the penalty box and steered his shot low into Pittsburgh goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap’s far corner.
It wasn’t a bad finale for a team that arrived at its Pittsburgh hotel at 3:40 a.m. on Saturday morning following Friday night’s exertions in Ohio.
“It’s not exactly the greatest preparation for a game,” Heath said. “But when I look at the amount of quality ball we’ve had in the final third, maybe the one thing that disturbs me is that we haven’t worked their goalkeeper enough.”