ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 2, 2021) - Orlando City SC (11-8-9, 42 points) earned a dramatic come-from-behind victory over D.C. United (12-12-4, 40 points), taking 2-1 win at Exploria Stadium thanks to a stoppage-time game-winner off the head of Daryl Dike.
The finish served as Dike’s third in as many matches, good for his sixth in 2021 with Chris Mueller earning the assist. The helper marked Mueller’s fifth assist of the 2021 campaign, taking sole possession of second in Club-history with his 23rd helper as a Lion.
Robin Jansson netted the early equalizer for City, serving as his second goal in MLS action. With the victory, the Lions moved back up to third in the Eastern Conference standings, two points clear of the Black and Red.
City will enjoy a week off from match play before returning to the field on Saturday, Oct. 16, traveling to take on FC Cincinnati at West End Stadium in a locally broadcast fixture on FOX35 PLUS.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“It was a very important night for us and it was emotional, of course. We have seen how hard the players have worked to get over this hurdle, this period of three weeks where we couldn’t get the results. The players were really united and after dominating the game, being constant in our purpose and idea of the game. One point was not enough for them. In front of our fans, they brought that energy at the end and it was probably what we were looking for to change the road now. That’s what makes it emotional. I have seen the players grinding and working and pushing and they deserve all the credit and obviously our fans here today, pushing and helping us. I think we were the best team on the field. I think we got the three points because we were always constant in our intentions in trying to hurt [D.C.] United, who are a very good team. Today our heart was bigger and that’s what we’re very proud of.”
6’ Julian Gressel (Russell Canouse, Paul Arriola) - D.C. 1, ORL 0
The visitors got on the board early with Russell Canouse laying off a ball to Julian Gressel outside the area who took a touch before firing off a shot from the right edge of the penalty box into the near post.
17’ Robin Jansson - ORL 1, D.C. 1
The Lions equalized just over 10 minutes later off a corner kick from Mauricio Pereyra from the left side of the pitch, finding the head of Júnior Urso in the area before being saved by D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid. The Viking was there for the rebound however, roofing his strike into the net for the finish.
90+7’ Daryl Dike (Chris Mueller) - ORL 2, D.C. 1
City found a game-winner at the death, scoring on yet another set piece this time from a Chris Mueller corner kick. Mueller whipped in an in-swinging cross from the left side, finding the head of Daryl Dike for the stoppage time game-winner and his third goal in as many matches.
- Daryl Dike netted his third goal in as many contests with his stoppage-time game-winner, now with six finishes in total this season.
- Chris Mueller tallied his fifth assist of the 2021 campaign in his return to the pitch for the first time since Sept. 15, taking sole possession of second in Club-history with his 23rd helper as a Lion.
- With the late game-winner, the Lions were able to secure a result in second half stoppage time for the second match in a row after forcing an own goal for a late equalizer at Nashville SC at the midweek.
- Robin Jansson scored his second goal of the 2021 campaign in the match, both of which have come on a set piece.
- Entering the game in the 82nd minute, Chris Mueller logged his 120th appearance across all competitions as a Lion to extend his Club-record.
- João Moutinho tallied his 50th appearance as a Lion across all competitions in the match.
- Pedro Gallese earned his 40th start in between the sticks in MLS action.
- Nani recorded his 80th appearance for Orlando City with the start.
- Sebastián Méndez made his first start at Exploria Stadium since May 22 against Toronto FC.
- Head Coach Oscar Pareja made three changes to his starting lineup in the match, with Robin Jansson, Benji Michel and Nani all reentering the fold for the side.
Next Match: The Lions will take a week off from match play before returning to action on Saturday, Oct. 16 to take on FC Cincinnati at West End Stadium in a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff.