With a pair of second half goals, Orlando City SC downed the Colorado Rapids on Saturday afternoon at Orlando City Stadium. Goals from substitutes Carlos Rivas and Kaká extended the Rapids’ losing streak to four regular season matches.
Pablo Mastroeni changed things up in the attack after last week’s 1-0 loss at Minnesota – sliding Kevin Doyle out wide in place of Dominique Badji and giving Alan Gordon his first start as a Rapid. Defender Jared Watts was also back in the lineup after serving a one-game suspension.
The Lions, who were coming off an impressive 2-1 victory over New York City FC on the road, looked to capitalize early but Zac MacMath and the Rapids backline stood their ground in a hot afternoon in central Florida.
The best chance of the half came just two minutes from the start when Antonio Nocerino found the ball at the top of the box and quickly sent a low shot, forcing MacMath to make a fantastic diving save. The Rapids were able to settle into the game and headed to the locker room scoreless.
MacMath would once again come up big for the visitors after the restart, denying Cyle Larin a seventh goal of the season. A great build up by the Lions ended with a phenomenal point blank save by the Rapids keeper.
A flurry of substitutions were made at the hour mark which seemed to change the momentum of the match. Badji replaced Gordon at center forward, while Rivas and Kaká would check into the match for the home side.
Twenty minutes from time, Orlando would finally break through. Rivas tallied his first goal of the season with a left-footed rocket from 25 yards out. The Rapids, desperate for the equalizer, pushed numbers forward but were unable to really threaten the Lions’ defense in the final third. Kaká, who was making his first appearance since suffering a hamstring injury in Week 1, pounced on the rebound in stoppage time to give Orlando their league-leading sixth win of the season.
The Rapids (1-5-1; 4 points) will look to snap their four-game losing skid next Friday night when they host Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park at 8:00 p.m. MT. Goalkeeper Tim Howard will be available for selection after serving a three-game suspension.