In a game where neither team’s attack had many answers it was a Tyler Deric own goal that gave Orlando City SC their first win in MLS franchise history, downing the Houston Dynamo 1-0 in front of a sell-out crowd at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Orlando City broke a 74-minute deadlock when second half substitute Pedro Ribeiro put pressure on Houston’s goalkeeper and the ball found the net. The second-year forward blocked Deric’s goal kick attempt at the edge of the box, sending the ball bouncing toward an open net. The two battled towards the ball, with Deric wrapping up his opponent and in the final moment Deric punched over Ribeiro’s head and sent the ball, and the two, crashing into the net.
Deric’s transgression was the difference in a game that lacked for clean chances as both teams struggled to crack the other open. The mishap ended up being the difference.
Houston made two changes in their lineup from their opening day win last week. Defender Raúl Rodríguez was forced to sit out due to injury, with David Horst replacing him. And Leonel Miranda started on the wing, with forward Will Bruin making way in the lineup. Orlando City also had two changes to the starting XI, with Darwin Ceren preferred to Cristian Higuita in midfield, and Sean St. Ledger replacing the suspended Aurelien Collin in defense.
After a tepid first half, with only a save from Deric on a free kick by Kaká near the end of the half punctuating proceedings, the game picked up in the second half. Both teams started to move the ball at a faster pace and take more chances bringing more action and a few mistakes to pump life into the game.
Houston came into the game looking for more possession and better passing to spark the attack in week two but the lineup adjustments didn’t yield the production the team sought.
After a turnover at midfield Orlando City stretched the Dynamo for the first true time in the 63rd minute. Kaka got out on the break and after an attempted sliding tackle from Horst broke on goal. Deric sprung off his line and shut the chance down before the Brazilian could change the game.
After Deric’s own goal Giles Barnes came closest to an equalizer in the 87th minute. The English forward made a near post run on a Brad Davis corner kick but his header was wide of the target. It was indicative of a tough night in attack where Houston failed to generate a shot on goal.
At the final whistle it was Ribeiro’s hustle and the resulting own goal that set Orlando City apart.
Houston (1-1-0) will travel west to face defending champion LA Galaxy next week while Orlando City (1-0-1) return home to host the Vancouver Whitecaps.