Orlando City held Austin FC to a shocking 2-2 draw on Sunday at Q2 Stadium after playing the majority of the second half with only nine men on the pitch.
The visitors took the early lead after Ercan Kara scored within the first three minutes of the match. Orlando then doubled the score in the first half, courtesy of Ruan Gregório Teixeira.
But the game took a dramatic turn in the second 45, seeing Austin FC come back with a goal before Orlando’s Cesar Araujo and Rodrigo Schlegel were forced off the pitch with red cards. To top it off, Moussa Djitté managed the winner in extra time to send both sides home with a point.
Orlando FC head coach Oscar Pareja was left frustrated after the game.
“It's unbelievable. The corner that they gave up is unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable,” Pareja said of the extra time set piece that inspired Djitté’s goal.
“The boys are working hard and the team doesn't need to be given anything, you know? Austin have a lot of players that can do things. That play was unbelievable.
“It's frustrating, very frustrating – the management of those plays. We're going to take this point. There is disappointment at this time, and not just that, you mention the handball that has been called and the yellow card and the ejection of the player, we've got to protect the game. The game, we've got to protect it.”
The result leaves Orlando in third place of the Eastern Conference table.
“Then when it hurts us the most, when they score a goal it was a corner that was called – they were in front of him and the Austin players get the ball out. It was our ball and they call a corner, and that's what's frustrating the most," Pareja added.
Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff did not walk away content either, expecting his side to walk away with three points as Orlando played with nine.
“Given how the first half started, I would say yeah. Given what it ended like with nine guys, I’d say we should win it,” Wolff said.
“Obviously the end of the game is the end of the game and I’m probably more disappointed that we didn’t somehow grab the win given that we were up two guys. It wasn’t a great start for us and we have to continue to address those things.”
Austin FC dropped to second in the West, enabling LAFC to take the lead with 26 points.
Both sides return to action next weekend to play in the 14th week of the 2022 Major League Soccer campaign.