ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 9, 2022) - Orlando City SC (14-14-6, 48 points) clinched a berth in the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs on Sunday afternoon, defeating Columbus Crew (10-8-16, 46 points) by a score of 2-1 at Exploria Stadium. With the victory, the Lions will now travel to take on CF Montréal in the First Round, with the date and time of that match to be announced in the coming days. The First Round will be played Oct. 15-17, with the complete schedule of game times found here.
The Lions earned a come-from-behind victory thanks to goals from Júnior Urso and Facundo Torres, the former netting his sixth of the year, while the latter netted his team-high 13th across all competitions in 2022. Torres’ goal came from the penalty spot after Video Review deemed a handball occurred in Columbus’ box following a shot from Benji Michel in the 81st minute.
City’s postseason berth serves as its third in as many years, with all of the Club’s playoff appearances coming under Head Coach Oscar Pareja and his staff.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“We are very happy. We are very proud of the Club and the community that have put the city on the map of MLS as a protagonist and a community club that will fight for things. We feel great. Obviously, we have a big responsibility to continue, but it is a great day for us. We overcame. That is a characteristic of us, probably too much, but we are enjoying it. It was a very difficult game today with all the circumstances around it. The boys found a way to qualify [for playoffs] and it is a big thing for us. We are very proud.”
38’ Derrick Etienne (Lucas Zelarayán) - CLB 1, ORL 0**
The visitors took the lead with Derrick Etienne combining with Lucas Zelarayán on the give-and-go, with Zelarayán sending Etienne in behind via the backheel to set up a one-touch finish inside the far post.
56’ Júnior Urso (Mauricio Pereyra) - ORL 1, CLB 1
The Lions leveled with Mauricio Pereyra maneuvering at the edge of the area before creating enough space to slip a ball through for Júnior Urso. “The Bear” was able to turn off of his defender and slot the ball into the bottom right corner for the finish.
84’ Facundo Torres (Penalty Kick) - ORL 2, CLB 1
City took the lead after Benji Michel brought down a cross and took a shot, striking the hand of a Crew defender inside the box. Following Video Review, the penalty was awarded to the Lions. Facundo Torres stepped up to the spot and confidently rocketed the ball past a diving Eloy Room and into the back of the net.
- With the victory, Orlando City clinched its third-consecutive berth in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, all which have come under Head Coach Oscar Pareja.
- Facundo Torres scored his team-high 13th goal of the year in all competitions and his fifth game-winner, also a team high. With the finish, “El Cuervo” extended his own Club-record with his 25th goal contribution of the year (13 goals, 12 assists) after breaking it earlier in the week in Ft. Lauderdale.
- Júnior Urso netted his sixth goal in all competitions of the calendar year and his second in his Orlando City career against the Crew.
- Mauricio Pereyra matched the team lead with his 12th assist in all competitions this campaign, extending his own Club-record with the 35th of his career.
- With the win, the Lions now hold a five-game win streak over the Columbus Crew in downtown Orlando dating back to the 2018 campaign.
- Ercan Kara tallied his 25th start in purple on the afternoon.
- Head Coach Oscar Pareja made three changes to his lineup leading into Sunday’s match, with Ruan, Iván Angulo and Ercan Kara all getting the nod.
- Defender Antonio Carlos was ineligible for the match, serving a one-game suspension due to yellow card accumulation.
Next Match: Orlando City will travel to take on CF Montréal in the First Round of the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs with date and time to be announced in the coming days.