MIAMI: Former Brazilian star Kaka didn’t disappoint in his return from injury, scoring in injury time to punctuate Orlando City’s 2-0 Major League Soccer win over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Carlos Rivas and Kaka both entered the contest in the 60th minute.
Rivas broke a scoreless deadlock in the 70th minute with his first goal of the season — a sensational shot off his left foot into the far post that left Colorado keeper Zac MacMath no time to react.
Kaka added Orlando’s second goal one minute into injury time when he was able to slot home a Cyle Larin shot that bounced off the post and landed at the Brazilian’s feet.
Kaka had been sidelined for almost two months after coming off early in Orlando’s first game of the season with a hamstring injury.
“I cannot put in words what I’m feeling, the emotion of being back, to score and win another game at home,” said Kaka, who entered the game to a wild ovation.
“When I came on the field and all the supporters were clapping and calling my name, it was unbelievable, so thank you to everybody who was here today to make this day so special for me.”
His return makes for an even more formidable Orlando — already the Eastern Conference leaders and unbeaten in six matches at home this season.
Kaka — who tops the list of Major League Soccer’s highest-paid players for a third straight year, according to official figures released last week — admitted it had been frustrating watching from the sidelines.
“It’s good to see how the team is playing, but it’s not so good to be there watching,” he said. “Much of the time I’ve had to train alone, and you never know in what condition you’re going to be ready, so there are a lot of things I’ve had to face.
“But today I showed I was ready to join the team again and be part of this amazing group.”
There were wins Saturday for both New York teams.
Jack Harrison’s two goals helped lift New York City FC to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Crew, despite the absence of New York forward David Villa.
Spanish star Villa, who has scored five goals this season, traveled to Columbus but stayed at the team’s hotel because of illness.
Yangel Herrera also scored for New York in his first MLS start, and set up Harrison for his 76th-minute game-winner.
Columbus had goals from Federico Higuain and Ola Kamara but couldn’t maintain the 2-1 lead they had built through 49 minutes.
The New York Red Bulls extended their unbeaten streak at Red Bull Arena to 19 straight matches with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire.
Bradley Wright-Phillips and Kemar Lawrence scored for the Red Bulls.
Nemanja Nikolic scored for the Fire off a deft pass from Dax McCarty, the former Red Bulls captain and fan favorite who was traded to the Fire for $400,000 in January.