CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Aug. 30, 2023) – Orlando City SC (12-6-8, 44 points) played Charlotte FC (7-9-9, 30 points) to a 1-1 draw at Bank of America Stadium on Wednesday night, seeing the two Eastern Conference sides split the points at the midweek.
Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese kept the hosts off the board in the first half, making a crucial save in the 37th minute, pushing the shot aside at point-blank range. Both sides stayed level until late into the second half when Charlotte FC was awarded a penalty kick in the 81st minute that Enzo Copetti would convert for the opener.
Orlando City midfielder Martín Ojeda and the Lions needed just seven minutes to equalize the match, earning a free kick in the 88th minute. Ojeda stepped up for the set piece, delivering in a cross towards Charlotte’s back post. Ojeda’s cross found its way through the Charlotte defense, sneaking just inside the post to level things up at 1-1.
The Lions continue their road trip this weekend at FC Cincinnati this Saturday, September 2 at TQL Stadium. That match is set to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. ET on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.
81’ Enzo Copetti (Penalty Kick) – CLT 1, ORL 0
The hosts took the lead late in the game after a penalty kick was awarded against the Lions. Enzo Copetti stepped up to the spot for Charlotte and hit it low to Pedro Gallese’s left for the goal.
88’ Martín Ojeda – ORL 1, CLT 1
Orlando City was able to level things up just seven minutes later off of a free kick opportunity. Martín Ojeda stepped up to the ball for the Lions, sending in a lofted ball to the far post. Ojeda’s ball floated through the box with no clearance and found itself just inside Charlotte’s post for the equalizer.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“Very happy with the performance of the players, especially in the second half. I thought we played against a very good team and a team that has a model that, at the beginning, confuses and we couldn’t stop them. That’s why I value the reaction that we had in that first half to create some options that probably should have taken us to lead the game at the end of the half. The second half was more controlled. In the second half I thought our shaping was much better and when they scored the [penalty kick], again the braveness and the character of this group is amazing. How they control their emotions and bounce back to score a goal, and we could have even taken the game. A difficult game, we’ll take the point and we’re happy with the performance. We keep going.”
- Martín Ojeda tallied his fifth goal of the 2023 campaign for the Lions, with his last goal coming on June 21 against Philadelphia Union.
- Júnior Urso made his first start of 2023 since returning to the Lions earlier this season.
- Mauricio Pereyra made his 125th appearance across all competitions, earning the start in the midfield.
- Head Coach Oscar Pareja made two changes to his starting lineup since his side’s last match against St. Louis CITY SC, with Ramiro Enrique and Júnior Urso both getting the start on the night.