ORLANDO, Fla. (Sept. 16, 2023) – Orlando City SC (14-6-8, 50 points) defeated the Columbus Crew (13-9-6, 45 points) in a seven-goal thriller at Exploria Stadium on Saturday night. The win serves as the Club’s 100th MLS regular season win and also extends the Club’s current home unbeaten streak to 11, which is a City record.
The Lions battled back from a two-goal deficit in the second half to earn the victory. All four of the Lions goals came in the second half, starting with Martín Ojeda finding the back of the net shortly after the halftime break. Ojeda would later pick up an assist, making it the fourth time this season he has had a goal and an assist in the same match, which is a new Club record.
After the Crew took a two-goal lead, City responded on the back of Facundo Torres, who came on as a second-half substitute. For Torres, the goal was his 12th of the year, which leads the Club. Torres also earned his fifth assist on the year, providing the helper on the game winning goal.
Ramiro Enrique bagged his first brace as a Lion finishing off the City comeback with goals in the 86th minute and the game winner coming deep into second half stoppage time, both of which came off of free kicks. The goals counted as Enrique’s third and fourth goals of the season, with the forward also recording his second assist of the year providing the helper on the Torres finish.
16’ Julian Gressel (Cucho Hernández, Alexandru Matan) – CLB 1, ORL 0
The Crew opened the scoring with Alexandru Matan floating a ball over the backline of the Lions and finding Cucho Hernández. Hernández squared the ball back across the face of the goal and found Julian Gressel for the tap in.
48’ Martín Ojeda (Iván Angulo, Felipe Martins) – ORL 1, CLB 1
The Lions leveled the score shortly after the halftime break with Felipe Martins finding Iván Angulo along the right flank. Angulo sent the ball into the box and fell to the right foot of Martín Ojeda who struck the ball into the back of the net.
56’ Diego Rossi (Yaw Yeboah, Aidan Morris) – CLB 2, ORL 1
The Crew regained the lead after Aidan Morris found Yaw Yeboah at the top of the box who slipped a ball past the Lions defense and found Diego Rossi who was able to finish it off with a goal.
68’ Cucho Hernández (Alexandru Matan, Diego Rossi) – CLB 3, ORL 1
The Crew extended their lead with Alexandru Matan finding Diego Rossi who made a long run down the right flank and passed a ball in front of the face of goal to Cucho Hernández who was able to do just enough to get the ball over the line.
73’ Facundo Torres (Ramiro Enrique, Martín Ojeda) – CLB 3, ORL 2
City pulled one back after a nice buildup involving Martín Ojeda slipping the ball to Ramiro Enrique, who then laid it off to an onrushing Facundo Torres. Torres took the first-time strike smashing the ball into the side of the goal.
86’ Ramiro Enrique – ORL 3, CLB 3
The Lions leveled the match after a free kick was sent into the box and, after the ball was knocked around some, it eventually found the foot of Enrique who made no mistake with the finish, sliding it past a diving Patrick Schulte.
90+7’ Ramiro Enrique (Facundo Torres) – ORL 4, CLB 3
The Lions found the game-winning goal in the dying moments of the match after a free kick was sent into the box from Ojeda. Torres was at the back post and passed the ball into the middle of the box, finding Enrique who smashed home the game-winner.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“We feel very proud and proud of the support that we received tonight from the fans and the energy that they bring. Today was another demonstration of the character of this group and I want to honor that responsibility and that desire to overcome. It’s not easy to score goals when the team doesn't look good. After it being 3-1, the team believed in the process and believed in the ways we can keep our mentality intact. We went for them, and we got them. It was very well deserved by the players. Once again, there are still a lot of things we need to get better at, but today it is a very good demonstration of character, and we are proud.”
- Facundo Torres scored his team-leading 12th goal of the season after coming on as a second-half substitute. Torres also recorded the game-winning assist, making it his fifth assist on the year.
- Torres recorded his 21st MLS regular season goal, tying former Lion Chris Mueller for the fifth-most regular season goals in Club history.
- Martín Ojeda scored his sixth goal of the season across all competitions. Ojeda also earned his ninth assist on the year. With a goal and an assist, Ojeda has set the Club record with his fourth game with at least one goal and one assist in a single season.
- Ramiro Enrique scored his third and fourth goals of the season and also earned his second assist of the year on the Torres’ strike.
- Iván Angulo picked up his sixth assist of the season providing the helper on the Ojeda goal.
- Felipe Martins earned his first assist as a Lion on the Ojeda finish.
- Orlando notched its 100th regular season MLS win since their expansion into the league in 2015.
- With the win, the Lions extend their home unbeaten streak to 11 straight home matches. The Lions are unbeaten in their last five matches, earning victories in four of them.
- The win marked the first time in regular season play that the Lions earned a victory at home after trailing at halftime, the last coming on Oct. 9, 2022, against the Crew.
- City scored four goals in the second half, which is the first time the Club has done so since May 19, 2019, when they scored four second-half goals against FC Cincinnati in a 5-1 victory.
- The 97th-minute goal is the latest goal the Lions have scored since Daryl Dike scored a game-winning goal in the 97th minute on October 2, 2021, against D.C. United.
- Head Coach Oscar Pareja made two changes to his starting lineup since his side’s last match against FC Cincinnati with Felipe Martins and Martín Ojeda both getting the nod.