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ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 12, 2021) - Orlando City SC took part in its first international competition on Thursday night at Exploria Stadium, falling 1-0 to Liga MX side Santos Laguna in the 2021 Leagues Cup Quarterfinals.

Chris Mueller looked to give the Lions a lead less than a minute into the match, but his attempt was cleared off the line by the Santos defense. Goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar made his fourth-consecutive start in between the sticks for the side in all competitions, tallying three saves on the night for a single-game high.

City returns to action in MLS regular season play on Wednesday, Aug. 18, traveling to take on Nashville SC at Nissan Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 8:30 p.m. ET with coverage set to begin at 8 p.m. ET on FOX35 PLUS.  

Head Coach Oscar Pareja:

“Obviously frustrated with the result, but not with the way the boys played today and the team. I think they showed a lot of personality tonight, especially in the first half when we created those options. We could have walked from the game with a different result playing against a good team, but I want to highlight the personality of the players during the whole game. I think it’s a game that is going to make us grow. Obviously we pursue the results, but at this point the group showed tonight, against a good rival, that we can play against anyone.”

Scoring Recap:

30’ Juan Otero (Diego Valdés) - SAN 1, ORL 0

Santos netted the only goal of the match a half hour in, with Diego Valdés laying it off to Juan Otero at the left edge of the area. Otero then found some space before curling his shot into the bottom left corner of the net.

Match Notes:

  • Head Coach Oscar Pareja made five changes to his starting lineup ahead of Thursday’s Quarterfinal, with João Moutinho, Antonio Carlos, Ruan, Andrés Perea and Nani all making the start on the night. 
  • The Lions nearly took the lead just 25 seconds into the match, with a strike from Chris Mueller just 25 seconds into the match being cleared off the line by the Santos defense.
  • Thursday served as the Lions’ first appearance in an international competition in Club history. 

Next Match: The Lions return to action on Wednesday, Aug. 18, traveling to take on Nashville SC at Nissan Stadium in an 8:30 p.m. ET kickoff. Coverage is slated to begin at 8 p.m. ET on FOX35 PLUS.

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