Orlando City gave BK Häcken all they could handle last night, but ultimately fell, 3-2.
The Lions almost were shocked early when a questional penalty kick was called against goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo. Majeed Waris took the shot, but it clanked off the upper left corner of the frame for no goal. City came right back and got the first word in at 17′, with our new striker, Trinidadian national Devorn Jorsling, slamming in a good goal and running to The Ruckus to celebrate with the team’s fans.
Häcken did not take the early setback lying down, storming back to answer at 21′ with a goal from Emil Wahlstrom. Then Lions defender Demar Stewart twisted his knee and had to be swapped out. The Swedes quickly took advantage, with Majeed Waris knocking in the go-ahead goal.
City got good pressure on Häcken for the rest of the first half, but the more experienced European club quickly stamped out pressure before many shot attempts could be made. The action was pretty well back-and-forth in the second half, but Häcken was able to score the ultimately deciding goal at 67′.
But that was not the end of the Lions. Ian Fuller got a fortunate breakaway to Lewis Neal, who was able to nail in a distant goal at 75′ to pull City within one. The team continued to battle to the end.
City will now take a week off to do some more training before beginning their next run of matches at local colleges. Those matches begin with their friendly against Rollins next Wednesday, March 16, in Winter Park.
A link to the Google Translate version of Häcken’s match report will be linked to as soon as it is prepared.
In other action, Stoke City were caught unawares at West Ham, suffering an improbably bad loss, 3-0, continuing their road woes this season. Their next match is the 6th Round Proper of the FA Cup, this time at home against West Ham next Sunday, March 13, at 10am EDT. (Why they’d move the game up one hour to accomodate U.S. Daylight Saving Time, I don’t know.)
Burnley came home for the first time in a month, and sunk Crystal Palace, 1-0. They rose to 7th place, the position just below the promotion playoffs, but are still 4 points out. They play at Hull City on Tuesday at 2:45pm.
Monterrey got an important win over Queretaro, 2-0. They are in a four-way tie for second in Group 1, but 7 points behind first-place UANL. They have advanced to the semifinal of the CONCACAF Champions League, however, taking 1-0 results over Toluca for a 2-0 quarterfinal aggregate, and facing Cruz Azul at home for the first leg on Wednesday, March 16, at 10pm EDT.