West Brom beaten by Kaka magic

Date published: Thursday 16th July 2015 12:16

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Although Callum McManaman gave the Baggies a 14th minute lead, former Ballon d’Or winner Kaka hit back two minutes after the break, latching onto the ball on the halfway line and beating the entire West Brom defence before slotting into the net.

The change in momentum was sealed by Carlos Rivas’ stunning 30-yard free kick four minutes into the second half and was compounded by a Bryan Rochez strike late in the game.

From the first whistle, MLS new boys Orlando looked threatening with Rochez and Kaka forcing last-ditch challenges from Craig Dawson and Gareth McAuley in the opening ten minutes.

But it was West Brom who took the early initiative with former Wigan winger McManaman cutting in from the left and curling a low shot past a flat-footed Donovan Ricketts in the Orlando goal.

Another former Latic was also causing trouble on the flanks, with new signing James McClean setting up Brown Ideye with a tempting cross that was cleared off the line by Amobi Akugo.

Albion enjoyed decent spells of possession in the first half, but they were undone by two quality goals either side of half time.

First their defence was undone by former world player of the year Kaka, who brushed defenders aside en route to drawing his team level.

Then the Baggies could do little but look on as Rivas curled an unstoppable free-kick into the top-right corner of Boaz Myhill’s goal shortly after half time.

Things got worse for West Brom as the game wore on in 28-degree heat, a defence-splitting pass gifting Rochez a one-on-one with Myhill that he easily dispatched.

After the game Baggies manager Tony Pulis accepted his side lacked the necessary match-fitness to challenge a team who are in the middle of their domestic season.

“We knew this was going to be a really tough game because they’ve got some good players and move the ball around quickly,” he said.

“We tired in the second half. It’s difficult when you’re chasing the game but the players had a good workout and that’s what we wanted.”

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