Weather: 64, clear Attendance: 50
Final Score: Sporting Orlando (4) 3 Deportivo Lake Mary 3
Wow! What an absolutely thrilling match this evening from Lake Mary High School in Sanford, Florida. Two very even teams battled it out for 90 minutes in regulation, 30 minutes in extra time, and again in the penalty kick shootout where Sporting Orlando took a 3-2 advantage after five shots. A memorable game where both teams can hold their respective heads high as it was a nail biter start to finish! The first fifteen minutes of the game started with both teams trying to figure out the pace of play with a lot of back and forth changes in possession and some early tough challenges in play. Deportivo recoded the first goal with winger Jhocao Caicedo playing in an unorthodox cross that found the head of winger Gianfranco Duca on the back post. The rest of the half continued likewise to the first fifteen minutes of play with both teams sharing an equal amount of possession and chances. Sporting Orlando had a dangerous free kick towards the end of the first half that sailed just over the bar The second half of play was much more frantic and intense than the first half. Both teams, knowing the stakes of this game, really turned up the gear in intensity. Halfway through the second half Sporting Orlando went on a brief tear and scored two goals in a span of three minutes. The first was a through ball behind the Deportivo backline where their forward scored one on one against Goalkeeper Claw Toldo. Then, a few minutes later Sporting capitalized off of a Deportivo defensive error and tapped in an easy shot. When the game seemed out of reach with just seconds left Deportivo got a free kick and center defender Guti Hernandez scored off a header to send the game into extra time! The extra time period was even as well and very intense for how long the players had been on the field for. Sporting Orlando were able to score first in extra time and make the game 3-2, but that certainly wouldn’t be the last of the action. A few minutes into the second overtime period, Forward Felipe Hurtado capitalized off a horrible goal kick from the Sporting Orlando keeper that went right to his foot in front of the goal. Felipe was able to tap in the shot and make the game even again at 3-3. Penalties are always a heartbreaking affair and one of the cruelest ways to lose a game. However, with this being a playoff fixture a tie would not suffice and Sporting Orlando were able to finish more kicks than Deportivo. This concludes Deportivo’s fall season and what a season it was. A lot of things to improve but certainly a lot of positives to take from this year. We are looking forward to our best year yet come 2020. Onward and upward from now on. ¡Vamos Deportivo!
By Phil Schafer