A draw isn’t exactly what Orlando City SC had in mind going into Saturday afternoon’s matchup with FC Dallas at Orlando City Stadium.

The Lions began the afternoon sitting five points back of the New York Red Bulls for the Eastern Conference’s sixth and final playoff spot.

By the end of the match, Orlando City was able to inch themselves just a little bit closer.

A plethora of missed opportunities, along with a solid defensive effort led by goalkeeper Joe Bendik, culminated in a 0-0 tie between Dallas and Orlando City. At 10-13-9 and 39 points, the Lions are now just four points back of the Red Bulls, who lost 4-2 to Toronto FC on the road. Orlando City will have ample time to prepare for its final home game of the 2017 season, as they’ll face the Columbus Crew on Oct. 15, a Sunday night contest.

Being the only scoreless draw of the day in Major League Soccer, the contest didn’t come without some close calls for both goalkeepers. Orlando City fired off 13 shots, with four of them being on goal. In the first half, midfielders Kaka and Yoshimar Yuton were active and attacking. In the 7th minute, Yuton made his presence known and blasted a shot high of the net.

The Lions would have a few other scoring chances throughout the first half, but went into intermission knotted up at 0-0 for the seventh time this season.

Controlling the ball was an issue once again for Orlando City, as Dallas controlled 54 percent of the possession for the entire match. Orlando City was in control of possession 46 percent of the time.

Bendik was stellar in net for Orlando City and added to his league-leading 115 saves on the year. The 28-year old has been the rock for Orlando City’s defense all season long and helped stave off any Dallas scoring chances. Dallas attempted 10 shots, with five of them being on goal.

In what was likely either team’s best scoring opportunity of the match came in stoppage time. Kaka hit a cross that fell just inches away from forward Cyle Larin tapping it into the back of the net. The draw is the ninth Orlando City has had this season.

About The Author

Andy Villamarzo has covered high school and youth sports for the Tampa Bay Times and The Tampa Tribune as a correspondent since 2008. He is a native of Holiday, FL, who graduated from Gulf High School and studied at St. Petersburg College. He has covered various prep, collegiate and professional athletes throughout his writing career, including Josh Johnson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Patrick Schuster (Arizona Diamondbacks) and currently writes for other publications like The Suncoast News, Friday Night Football Magazine and TopDrawerSoccer.com.

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