Mauricio Pereyra Sets Club Assist Record as Lions Fall to LAFC


ORLANDO, Fla. (April 2, 2022) - Orlando City SC (2-2-2, 8 points) fell 4-2 to Western Conference side LAFC (4-0-1, 13 points) on Saturday night at Exploria Stadium in the first of four home matches for the Lions in the month of April.

Alexandre Pato and João Moutinho found the back of the net in what served as both of their second goals for the Club, the latter scoring each against his former team. Mauricio Pereyra recorded an assist on each of the finishes, matching Nani’s Club-record for assists in all competitions at 26 in his Orlando City tenure.

The Lions return home on Saturday, April 9 to take on Chicago Fire FC in a 1 p.m. ET kickoff at Exploria Stadium.

Head Coach Oscar Pareja:

“I feel sad because what we saw on the field today is what we have been working very hard for, trying to turn into a team who can have that volume of attacking and making people feel proud and excited about our initiatives. I think in the first half, it was one of those games that made us feel very optimistic. What happened is that we lost and we conceded four goals, three of them that are not accepted by ourselves at this level and that’s what created the difference in the game. But it would be bad as well to let this feeling be more than what we produced today as a team. I’m trying to recognize the game that the boys played today, especially in the first half and if they go in that direction, they’re going to win many games and I don’t have any doubt about that, but this is the result.”

Scoring Recap:

24’ Brian Rodríguez (Cristian Arango, Carlos Vela) - LAFC 1, ORL 0

The visitors got on the board first with Carlos Vela hitting a long ball over the top, finding Cristian Arango on the left flank. Arango then sent a ball across the face of goal, finding Brian Rodríguez at the far post for the first-time finish.

36’ Alexandre Pato (Ercan Kara, Mauricio Pereyra) - ORL 1, LAFC 1

The Lions leveled thanks to a lofted ball from Mauricio Pereyra into the area, finding the head of Ercan Kara who was able to lay it off to Alexandre Pato to finish with the volley.

38’ Jesús Murillo - LAFC 2, ORL 1

LAFC quickly regained the lead off of a misplayed clearance by the Lions defense falling to Jesús Murillo in the area, who was able to poke the ball into the back of the net.

45’ João Moutinho (Mauricio Pereyra, Júnior Urso) - ORL 2, LAFC 2

City evened it up yet again, this time with Mauricio Pereyra finding Júnior Urso with the backheel at the edge of the area, who then played it back to the Lions’ captain on the right side of the box. Pereyra then played it across the 18 to find a wide-open João Moutinho, who took a touch before sending his left-footed shot straight into the far post.

51’ Ilie Sánchez - LAFC 3, ORL 2

The visitors took the advantage once more shortly after the halftime break with Ilie Sánchez winning the ball at the edge of the area before firing a shot inside the near post for the finish.

90+3’ Kwadwo Opoku (Jesús Murillo) - LAFC 4, ORL 2

LAFC doubled its advantage late in stoppage time, capitalizing on the transition with Jesús Murillo finding Kwadwo Opoku in the center of the box to tap in the insurance.

Match Notes:

  • Mauricio Pereyra notched his second and third assists of the year, respectively, matching former Lion Nani’s Club-record of 26 in all competitions.
  • João Moutinho scored his second goal as a Lion in all competitions, both of which have come against his former Club. 
  • Alexandre Pato scored his second goal of the year with his finish in the 36th minute. 
  • Ercan Kara tallied his second helper of the campaign on Pato’s first half finish. 
  • The Lions were forced into an early substitute in the 18th minute, with Rodrigo Schlegel entering the match after Antonio Carlos went down with an injury.  
  • Head Coach Oscar Pareja made three changes to his starting lineup ahead of Saturday’s match, with Pedro Gallese, Facundo Torres and Ercan Kara each getting the nod. 

Next Match: The Lions return home to host Chicago Fire FC in a 1 p.m. ET kickoff on Saturday, April 9 at Exploria Stadium.