ORLANDO, Fla. (Nov. 7, 2021) - Orlando City SC (13-9-12, 51 points) punched its ticket to its second-consecutive postseason on Sunday night, taking a 2-0 victory over CF Montréal (12-12-10, 46 points) at Stade Saputo to clinch a berth in the 2021 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
With the victory, the Lions finished at sixth in the Eastern Conference, now slated for a Round One matchup against Nashville SC at Nissan Stadium. Through three fixtures against the Blue and Gold this year, each match has resulted in a deadlock, the most recent coming in City’s regular season home finale on Oct. 31.
Sebastián Méndez and Daryl Dike each scored for the Lions in their Decision Day fixture, the former netting the eventual game-winner in the 55th minute for his first goal in purple, while the latter added the insurance with his 10th goal of the year in the 86th. The side also added to its single-season shutouts record, tallying its ninth of 2021 with Pedro Gallese registering three saves on the afternoon.
The Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs will kick off on Nov. 20, seeing 12 single-elimination playoff matches played across two weeks all aired on national television leading into the 2021 MLS Cup on Dec. 11. Matchup dates, times, as well as broadcast details will be announced in the coming days.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“I would like to remark the effort of the players today. I would like to remark the support of our fans that in spite of some difficult moments that we have been through throughout the year, they believe in this group and the manifestation that they made yesterday coming to our [training facility] and that energy is a reflection of what is happening in Orlando. Congratulations to them and congratulations to the new owners too that have been very supportive of our group. Once again it was a very difficult match with urgencies today. There was no tomorrow, it must be done today here in Montreal after what happened against Nashville at home that was very difficult to absorb, but the players showed a lot of character. I liked our game, I thought we were very smart today in trying to neutralize them and just taking our special moments to define the game. We are very pleased, very happy for the Club and now we will get ready for Nashville.”
55’ Sebastián Méndez - ORL 1, MTL 0
City took the lead following a poor headed clearance by the CF Montréal defense, falling to the feet of Sebastián Méndez outside the left edge of the area. The Ecuadorian international took a touch before rifling off a right-footed shot on the bounce straight into the top-right corner of the net.
86’ Daryl Dike (Ruan) - ORL 2, MTL 0
The Lions added the insurance late in the second half with Ruan driving up the middle of the pitch before threading a ball in behind the Montreal backline for a running Daryl Dike, beating his defender and slotting his shot past goalkeeper Sebastian Breza to double the City advantage.
- Orlando City clinched its second-consecutive berth in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs on Sunday night with a victory over CF Montréal.
- With the win, the Lions tallied their first 50-point season in Club history while also setting a new Club-record for wins in a season with their 13th in 2021.
- Daryl Dike scored his 10th goal of the season of the night, becoming the seventh player in Club history to record a double-digit goal season. Dike finished the regular season tallying eight goal contributions in the Lions’ last nine matches, including a goal in each of their last four.
- Sebastián Méndez scored his first goal as a Lion with his eventual game-winner in the 55th minute.
- Ruan notched his fourth assist of the season on Dike’s second half finish.
- City extended its single-season record for clean sheets on the afternoon, posting its ninth of the campaign behind three saves from goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.
- Gallese matched the single-season Club-record in clean sheets with his seventh shutout of the year on Sunday, tying Joe Bendik and Brian Rowe who set the same record in the 2017 and 2019 campaigns, respectively.
- CF Montréal was reduced to 10 men in the 79th minute of play after Rudy Camacho was shown a straight red card, marking the first time the Lions played up a man in 2021.
- Daryl Dike recorded his 40th appearance for Orlando City in the match.
- Head Coach Oscar Pareja made two changes to his starting lineup in the match, giving the nod to Silvester van der Water and Benji Michel on the afternoon.
Next Match: The Lions will travel to take on Nashville SC in Round One of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs at Nissan Stadium. The date/time for that match will be announced in the coming days.