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ORLANDO, Fla. (May 10, 2022) - Orlando City SC punched its ticket to the Round of 16 of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night, defeating fellow Major League Soccer (MLS) side Philadelphia Union by a score of 2-1 at Exploria Stadium.

Ercan Kara and Andrés Perea found the back of the net for the Lions, the former netting his third goal across all competitions in 2022 and the latter scoring his first of the year. Perea scored the decider against the Union in their last visit to downtown Orlando less than a year ago, netting the game-winner in a 2-1 victory in league play.

Goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar tallied three saves in between the sticks for his second-consecutive Open Cup victory, including a denial of a point-blank shot from the Union at the death to secure the win. 

The Lions’ Round of 16 opponent is set to be determined via a draw on Thursday, May 12, with more details coming soon. 

Head Coach Oscar Pareja:

“I thought it was a very enjoyable game for our fans. The intensity shows the respect that both teams have for the Cup. It was not far from the high-level of the league and I like it a lot from the effort that our players did, especially in a very, very difficult match against a very good team, too. I thought we were more consistent during the whole game, not just in the possession side where we wanted to keep the ball and have sequences, numbers and things like that. But to just have the creations, it was much more like us. So, a good time today to bounce back, now we will refocus on the league. But today was a match that we enjoyed a lot and congratulations to our players.”

Scoring Recap:

54’ Ercan Kara - ORL 1, PHI 0

The Lions got on the board with Mikey Halliday sending a ball across the face of goal from the right flank, falling to Júnior Urso. The Bear’s shot was blocked by the Union defense, with the ball falling to Ercan Kara who was able to send it straight into the left side of the net.

57’ Andrés Perea - ORL 2, PHI 0

City doubled the advantage just minutes later, this time with Andrés Perea firing a screamer from outside the box off a poor clearance by the Philadelphia defense straight past goalkeeper Matt Freese into the back of the net. 

77’ Stuart Findlay (José Martinez) - ORL 2, PHI 1

The visitors halved the deficit off a free kick from outside the area, with Stuart Findlay capitalizing on a volleyed cross from José Martinez. 

Match Notes:

  • The Lions punched their ticket to the Round of 16 of the U.S. Open Cup for the third-consecutive time dating back to 2018. 
  • Andrés Perea netted his first goal of the year in what also served as his first in the nation’s oldest cup competition. Perea has now scored in back-to-back victories at Exploria Stadium against the Union, both of which have served as the game-winner in a pair of 2-1 victories.
  • Ercan Kara scored his first U.S. Open Cup goal and his third for the Lions’ in all competitions this year.
  • Mikey Halliday recorded his first start of the campaign across all competitions.
  • Head Coach Oscar Pareja made seven changes to his starting lineup from the Lions’ last match, including Halliday, Mason Stajduhar, Kyle Smith, Robin Jansson, Júnior Urso, Perea and Kara.

Next Match: The Lions head to Canada for the second time in as many weeks to take on Toronto FC in a 3 p.m. ET kickoff at BMO Field.