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Orlando City was able to break their three-game losing skid in spectacular fashion with a 5-1 victory over the FC Cincinnati.
“Obviously, very pleased – not just with the result. I thought overall the mentality of the players was excellent,” James O’Connor, Orlando City’s head coach, said. “To play at three o’clock in Florida is a mental test.”
Nani’s return to the squad’s starting lineup after a two-game injury absence seemed to bolster the entire team.
When the match began, both teams were a little slow to adapt to each other until Cincinnati’s forward Darren Mattocks scored in the 24th minute, when he faked through Orlando defenders and fired a shot to the back of the net to make it 1-0.
After that goal, Orlando woke up and started to play more fluently. In the 37th minute, Will Johnson made a through ball pass to Akindele who fired it home to tie the game up 1-1.
Orlando came out strong in the second half, scoring in just five minutes. VAR showed during a corner that Cincinnati’s defender Kendall Waston grabbed Orlando’s defender Lamine Sané and took him down. Nani missed the penalty, but the rebound fell right back to his feet and he scored to make it 2-1 for Orlando.
Nine minutes later, Orlando’s defender Ruan made a lightning-quick dash down the right side of the pitch, cut in inside the pitch, and crossed it to Nani, who tapped the ball inside the net to make it 3-1 for Orlando. With that goal, Orlando had scored 200 in the MLS.
In the 64th minute, Mueller served the corner kick that landed in the box. Akindele took it from the air and with one touch and a shot, it was 4-1 for Orlando.
Dom Dwyer came in for Nani in the 73rd minute. Nine minutes after Dwyer came in, he scored a well-placed header from a corner kick cross by Josué Colmán to make it 5-1.
Orlando’s next game will be a home match against L.A. Galaxy on Friday at 7 p.m.