Orlando City secured a dramatic comeback win against the Portland Timbers. They came back from two goals down to earn a victory that was overshadowed by a terrible refereeing performance.
The first bizarre piece of officiating happened around 15 minutes into the game when referee, Baldomero Toledo gave Portland’s Sebastian Blanco a second yellow card for simulation…
However, after being informed of his error, he overturned the second yellow card and awarded the Timbers a penalty. Diego Valeri stepped up and gave the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Yet again, Orlando started a home game by conceding early on. Manager Jason Kreis must have been pulling his hair out.
The home side should have equalised just before the half-time interval, however Justin Meram failed to convert when the ball fell to him at close range. Timbers keeper, Jake Gleeson made a terrific save, however Meram shouldn’t have given him the chance.
After the restart. Orlando were again found asleep. In the space of a couple of minutes, Sebastian Blanco hit the crossbar and Diego Valeri hit the post. Orlando were accused of still being in the locker room, and that was exactly right.
Portland doubled their lead just before the hour-mark, and it was fully deserved. Valeri provided the delivery from a free-kick and Bill Tuiloma headed into the net.
With ten minutes to go, Orlando’s Chris Mueller headed in from a corner to make it 1-2, and suddenly things got interesting… As the old cliche goes, 2-0 is the most dangerous scoreline in soccer.
In the 83rd minute of the game, a huge decision was made, and in my opinion it ruined the game, or at least took the shine out of it. Toledo awarded Orlando a penalty after Alvas Powell and Dom Dwyer collided in the box, but there was nothing to it. Not only that, but the official didn’t even use the VAR available to him.
Sacha Kljestan finished the spot-kick to level the score at 2-2, and I couldn’t pretend I was happy with the goal.
I was, however, absolutely delighted with Dom Dwyer’s winner in the 88th minute. The forward even fell to the ground before peeling past the Timbers’ defenders and stealing the three-points.