Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MLS Team Tops Jacksonville; Mateos' Goal Propels Orlando Past Armada

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MLS Team Tops Jacksonville; Mateos' Goal Propels Orlando Past Armada

Article excerpt

Byline: Clayton Freeman

The Jacksonville Armada thought they had avoided trouble.

Then Orlando City's David Mateos dealt the Armada a defeat in the Battle of Florida.

Mateos notched the game-winner to oust the Jacksonville Armada from the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup 1-0 in Wednesday's fourth round.

Moments before Mateos scored in the 62nd minute, the Armada had cleared a close-range free kick, only for the Spanish central defender to punish them on the ensuing corner kick.

In the Armada's second Open Cup match at Jacksonville University's Southern Oak Stadium, Orlando brought Major League Soccer skill and major atmosphere.

The crowd of 2,155 included a substantial proportion of chanting, bouncing and flag-waving Orlando fans, making the trip from Orange County to support the visitors and packing the auxiliary bleachers on the east and south sides.

The loss particularly stung against an Orlando squad that fielded only a fraction of its usual talent.

Orlando started with several regulars on the bench, including top scorer and reigning MLS rookie of the year Cyle Larin, Trinidadian spark plug Kevin Molino and speedy wingback Brek Shea.

Add the absence of 2007 world player of the year Kaka, who didn't make the trip because of a thigh injury, and Orlando City looked ripe for an upset.

It didn't happen.

"We had the better of the chances, to be honest with you," Armada goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo said.

"We played a really good game, but we made a couple of mistakes, and we got punished."

The Armada's more defensive lineup paid off early against Orlando's aggressive three-forward system, with wingers Carlos Rivas and Hadji Barry slashing into the defense and rounding them on the break.

The central defensive duo of Tyler Ruthven and Beto Navarro began to contain Julio Baptista, the burly Brazilian who played at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and the momentum soon turned.

That meant scoring chances: Junior Sandoval drove a skipping shot that forced Orlando keeper Earl Edwards Jr. to slap it wide, Alhassane Keita was narrowly high on a spin move and Ruthven had a strong header just before halftime. …

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