ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 26, 2023) – Orlando City SC (12-6-7, 43 points) defeated Western Conference-leading St. Louis CITY SC (14-9-2, 44 points) by a 2-1 scoreline on Saturday night at Exploria Stadium in the team's inaugural match. The Club is now unbeaten in their last nine straight home games, which ties the Club record set back in 2020.
The Lions were backed by a second-half brace from forward Facundo Torres, including a stoppage-time, game-winning penalty kick. The two goals are good for his 9th and 10th goals of the season, tying him for the team lead across all competitions with fellow forward Duncan McGuire. The penalty kick winner also marked Torres’ 23rd goal as a Lion, passing Chris Mueller for fifth-most goals scored in the Club’s history.
Dagur Dan Thórhallsson and Mauricio Pereyra both combined for the assists on Torres’ first goal. Thórhallsson picked up his second assist of the season across all competitions while Pereyra earned his eighth. Pereyra also extended his Club record for most assists as a Lion to 43 all-time.
48’ Facundo Torres (Dagur Dan Thórhallsson, Mauricio Pereyra) – ORL 1, STL 0
The Lions found the breakthrough just after halftime after a nice build up found captain Mauricio Pereyra, who laid a ball off to Dagur Dan Thórhallsson at the top of the box. Thórhallsson took a touch and found Facundo Torres who took a strike and scored.
79’ Rasmus Alm (Nokkvi Thorisson) – ORL 1, STL 1
The visitors found a leveler after Nokkvi Thorisson drove the endline, put the ball at the near post and found Rasmus Alm who was able to get just enough and get the ball over the line. The play was originally ruled out of bounds, but following a Video Assistant Referee check, the goal was given.
90+1’ Facundo Torres (Penalty Kick) – ORL 2, STL 1
The Lions took a late lead after Rafael Santos sent in a shot that struck the hand of a St. Louis player. Following a Video Assistant Referee check, a penalty kick was awarded. Torres stepped up to the spot, sent the goalkeeper the wrong way and hit the back of the net for the winner.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
"First, very happy with the victory not just the three points, which are very important for us, but the way they gained those points. I thought it was a really good game. Our fans today were fantastic, they brought us that energy and I am grateful for them, and we felt that energy over the weekend. Keep bringing people to our place and we respond with soccer like that today. Again, thanks to them and enjoy the victory. We are going to get ready for Charlotte and a busy week and Cincinnati. The boys dream high and today we showed that we are a very good team.”
- With the win, Orlando City is now unbeaten in nine-straight matches at home across all competitions.
- Facundo Torres scored his 9th and 10th goal of the 2023 campaign across all competitions, tying forward Duncan McGuire for the most on the team.
- Torres’ second goal marked his fifth from the penalty marker this season.
- Dagur Dan Thórhallsson earned his second assist of the regular season, supplying the helper on the first Torres finish.
- Captain Mauricio Pereyra recorded his eighth assist of the season, picking up the secondary assist on the opening Torres goal.
- With the brace, Torres picked up his 22nd and 23rd all-time goals with City, passing Chris Mueller for fifth all time.
- The match saw Júnior Urso make his first appearance back at Exploria Stadium since resigning with the Club back on July 19.
- Head Coach Oscar Pareja made no changes to his starting lineup since his side’s last game against Chicago Fire FC.