Yesterday marked the first visit of Orlando City to the nation's capital. The last, and first time ever, that these teams met, in Orlando in April, D.C. United came away with a 91st minute winner. Having tied 3 of their last 4 home games, from winning positions, United went into the game hoping to go one better.
All eyes were on visiting captain, former A.C. Milan & Real Madrid midfielder Kaka
...and he didn't disappoint, as he pushed Orlando forward, time and time again
In the 11th minute Orlando City got the reward for their early pressure, with a scrambled goal from Cyle Larin, from a Darwin Ceren deflected shot
Kaka and his teammates continued to pressure the United defense
With D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid forced into several saves from the City players
From that point on, United's defense, including captain Bobby Boswell, who was presented with a ceremonial shirt, for playing his 300th MLS game last weekend against Sporting Kansas City, before the game, held strong
...through wave after wave of Orlando attacks
As the half wound towards its close, United started to find their feet more, with Orlando's Ceren using his to stop United's Farfan
United did manage some attacking movement, but nothing that particularly troubled the Orlando keeper, and the half ended with Orlando City leading by the only goal of the game
The second half began with D.C. United attacking, and the Orlando defense doing whatever was necessary to keep the ball out of their net
...including man-handling United players into touch
...as a unit they held strong, not letting the United attackers get the opportunities they needed to put the ball on target
In the 54th minute, Chris Rolfe was introduced as a substitute. He played like a man possessed, challenging for every ball, pushing United on, in a similar manner to how the now anonymous Kaka had done in the first half.
In the 70th minute, United were awarded a free kick that Tayor Kemp swung into the Orlando goal area
where it was met by the head of United defender Kofi Opare
...and flew past the despairing fingers of Orlando keeper, Donovan Ricketts
...and into the back of the net
Led by Rolfe's energy, United continued to attack, looking for another breakthrough
Any time Orlando got the ball, they were quickly closed down
...and another United attack would start
In the 79th minute United took the lead, as a cross whipped in by substitute Jairo Arrieta found the run of substitute Chris Rolfe, who made no mistake as he struck it into the net from the six yard box
As the game ran into injury time, Kaka suddenly remembered he was still on the field, and started challenging for the ball, but United's Perry Kitchen won those tussles
...and the game ended with D.C. United extending their home unbeaten streak to 18 games, and with the win took a 3 point lead over the New England Revolution in the race for the Eastern Conference.