April 16, 2024
  • April 16, 2024
2024 Concacaf Champions Cup Orlando Cavalry

Concacaf Curtains For Cavalry Despite Stronger Showing Against Orlando

By on February 27, 2024 0 951 Views

The reigning Canadian Premier League regular season champions bowed out of their first foray in continental competition, falling 1-6 on aggregate to Major League Soccer’s Orlando City after a two-legged affair.

Tommy Wheeldon Jr’s side played bravely in enemy territory tonight, but the 0-3 home loss north of the border preceding the 3-1 loss away means that it will be Orlando marching on in the competition rather than Alberta’s own.

The visitors had made it no secret that they’d start the game with high intensity as they sought to reduce the deficit, though this time around Cavalry shied away from a back three as they pressed for an early goal scoring opportunity.

Rewind: Three Things To Watch For In Orlando City vs Cavalry FC

Designated player Luis Muriel looked to start his Orlando career brightly with a breakaway fifteen minutes on, though Kobza did well to to steer the attacker away from net before he forced Marco Carducci into a low stop.

Moments later it was another designated player, Ojeda, who got the crowd going with a run down the left flank before he sold Kobza on a fake cross and pinged a nice ball in, though Cavalry would survive unscathed after a referee decision opted to not punish them for a potential handball.

The danger signs kept looming when a clever dummy slotted Enrique through the defensive line, though the Argentine’s in-the-box effort flew wide of the post.

Cavalry’s best opportunity of the match came with the club’s first corner, with the ball sailing over Klomp to the unguarded figure of Charlie Trafford, who’s low header sailed well out of the goalkeeper’s reach but just wide of the post. The first half tempo slowed after that, with both sides remaining scoreless throughout it.

With nothing to lose, Tommy Wheeldon Jr. would make some attack-minded changes at half by bringing in Tobias Warschewski and Ali Musse for Callum Montgomery and Shamit Shome, but his script would soon be shredded: Nicolas Lodeiro pinged one in off the post to procure his first goal in purple, meaning Cavalry would now need an unlikely four goals to advance.

Cavalry wouldn’t put their collective heads down, however, and secured a page in club history after William Akio took on his defender with a darting burst of speed and fired a ground cross through the box. It was met by golden boot co-winner Myer Bevan, who ensured Cavalry would exit the tie with a goal to their name as he leveled the scoreline, if not the aggregate.

He isn’t the only CPL athlete to score in the tournament: Forge’s David Choiniere, Kevaughn Tavernier, and Terran Campbell have scored against Liga MX sides, while former York United attacker Lisandro Cabrera scored against Monterrey in the competition two years ago, though he was on loan with Atletico Pantoja at the time.

Before any thoughts of an unlikely comeback be mounted by Cavalry’s regiment, however, Argentinian attacker Ramiro Enrique would put the hosts back in front in the match with a beautifully struck kick from outside the box that sailed beyond the gloves of Carducci and into the far corner.

Orlando looked to keep piling on the misery just one minute later with a simple pass leading to a tap in of sorts from substitute Facundo Torres, though the linesman would erase the goal for the forward’s offside position.

After a few chances at both end as Tommy continued to add attackers on the pitch, the Lions would conclusively wrap up the two-legged fixture with a nice shoot teed up for Kyle Smith, who fired the shot into the same corner that Enrique had from a similar position earlier.

The final whistle confirmed Cavalry’s – and Canada’s – exit from the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup, with Orlando now set to face Liga MX’s Tigres in the Round of 16.

Cavalry will return home with a time aplenty ahead of their next match, a league opener away to rival side Forge on April 13.

Photo Credit: Orlando City SC

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