Daryl Dike converted the first goal of the match in the 24th minute when he fought his way into a perfect spot to convert his chance. Kyle Smith crossed to a streaking Dike who edged between New York defenders and scored a leaping header past David Jensen.
Red Bulls recovered and played well, but Orlando was hungry to expand their lead. Five minutes after halftime the home side broke the game open as the red hot Chris Mueller slotted a perfect low ball into the path of Junior Urso. Jason Pendant was shouldered off by Urso, then rounded Jensen to score.
But the Red Bulls were able to pull one back four minutes later as Florian Valot got a gift from Kamal Miller to start the play. A terrible clearance by Mueller gave the ball to Valot, quickly shoveled it at Daniel Royer who controlled the high ball off his knee for Valot to finish. Then in the 57th minute, the referee made a horrible non-decision against the Red Bulls.
Royer had the ball in the area and was trying to get into position to take a shot but was hacked down by Andres Perea who never touched the ball. Fotis Bazakos chose not to blow his whistle and, while checked by VAR Referee Ismail Elfath, the call was not overturned.
Orlando City would get their third goal of the match through Antonio Carlos inside second-half stoppage time, as the Red Bulls fell for the first time in three matches. But while the result was bad, interim manager Bradley Carnell felt there were positives in the performance.
“I thought the guys played a hell of a game today. We came up with a good plan. The first 20 minutes, before the first goal, I thought we had a good couple of opportunities. Brian White goes one-v-one and we just failed to hit the target.” said Carnell. “Then all of a sudden there is a stretch there where we get set, we just kind of get lifeless and lose one or two duels and lost a fight. Then you feel the swing and the momentum changing and we just had a bit to do in our own minds with regards to that. The game just gets a bit loose we knew transition is their big weapon and it’s disappointing to give goals away up high on the field with the throw-in that we have. We can’t secure the ball and then they’re off to the races on a transition and on a break which was very disappointing.”
“The third goal was hit and miss not sure, I haven’t seen the footage back if that’s offsides or not. I thought, we went toe to toe and proud of the performance and there is work to do in terms of just matching up to the physical qualities of that team. We knew going into it, that we had to bring the fight before anything else we start with the ball.”
“We fell just short but credit to the boys. They put in a good effort, second half especially, and we kept on going. We showed the weapons that we have and what we can do, especially later on in games. I’m a little bit gutted with the result and then on top of that now we lose Kaku and Cristian Casseres Jr. to the national teams. We wish them well and hope they come back strong and healthy and positive.”
Now the Red Bulls head back home for a quick turnaround as they will host inter Miami for the first time at Red Bull Arena as they welcome back their old friend Luis Robles. They will lose both Kaku and Cristian Casserers Jr to their respective national teams for South American World Cup qualfication, but will hope the rest given to Dru Yearwood and Sean Davis will allow them to carry the load in the coming weeks.