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ORLANDO, Fla. (July 27, 2022) - Orlando City SC defeated the New York Red Bulls 5-1 on Wednesday night at Exploria Stadium to earn a trip and hosting rights to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final, the first in Club history. The Lions will host the winner of Sporting Kansas City and Sacramento Republic, which kicked off after the Orlando match, on Wednesday, Sept. 7 in an 8 p.m. ET kickoff. 

The Lions saw themselves go down in the match in first-half stoppage time, but quickly struck back before the halftime whistle courtesy of César Araújo scoring his first professional goal. Araújo found a second goal on the night, capping off his brace and sealing the Club’s first trip to the Open Cup Final.

City captain Mauricio Pereyra also found the back of the net on the night for his second goal of the year across all competitions. João Moutinho tallied his first helper of the year on Pereyra’s second-half finish capping off a gorgeous team goal for the Lions. Facundo Torres and Benji Michel also joined in on the fun, finding the back of the net to round off the scoring in the 75th and 83rd minutes, respectively. Both players also earned an assist to go along with their goals, with Júnior Urso notching a helper as well on the Torres finish.

Head Coach Oscar Pareja:

“The importance of the game goes beyond taking the Club to another final, which is super for our fans and what we’re achieving means for the city. We’re working hard, the boys are doing a lot in trying to be more polished on the finishing, creating more sequences and volume [in the attack]. Today is a great reward for them. We’ll keep our heads in the right place, try to be more consistent and score those goals that will give us points. Tonight we want to enjoy this great moment for our fans and for our Club, taking the Club to a second final, and hopefully we can give them this trophy.”

Scoring Recap:

45+1’ Lewis Morgan (Patryk Klimala) - RBNY 1, ORL 0

The visitors got on the board with Patryk Klimala charging down the right flank before whipping a ball across the face of goal, reaching the far post for a wide-open Lewis Morgan to send his shot into the top-right corner of the net.  

45+4’ César Araújo - ORL 1, RBNY 1

The Lions leveled less than four minutes later off a corner kick from the right side from Mauricio Pereyra, whose cross found the head of Antonio Carlos in the area. The Brazilian defender’s strike hit off the left post before falling to the foot of César Araújo, who didn’t hesitate to send his left-footed shot straight into the back of the net. 

47’ Mauricio Pereyra (João Moutinho) - ORL 2, RBNY 1

City took the lead just after the break with Mauricio Pereyra lofting a ball to the left flank for Facundo Torres. The Lions’ DP signing maintained possession just enough for João Moutinho to make an overlapping run, playing him through further down the flank. Moutinho then cut a ball back towards the center of the area with his first touch to a running Pereyra, who hit it first time straight inside the left post.

62’ César Araújo (Benji Michel) - ORL 3, RBNY 1

The home side doubled the advantage again off the set piece, with Alexandre Pato whipping in a corner from the right side. The ball was deflected straight in the air, with Benji Michel able to get a head on it, finding the foot of Araújo who volleyed it first time out of the air to secure the brace on the night. 

76’ Facundo Torres (Júnior Urso) - ORL 4, RBNY 1

The Lions scored their fourth goal of the night after Júnior Urso sent a ball over the Red Bulls backline finding Facundo Torres on the left side. Torres took a clean touch, let the ball run in front of him and rocketed his left-footed shot into the back of the net. 

83’ Benji Michel (Facundo Torres) - ORL 5, RBNY 1

City finished off the night when Torres found himself behind the Red Bulls defense on the left flank, whipping in a ball to find Benji Michel striding into the box. Michel was able to run across his defender and get a foot to the ball, putting it past a sprawling Carlos Coronel. 

Match Notes:

  • The win saw the Lions punch their ticket to the first Open Cup Final in Club history and their first major final since finishing as runner-ups at the MLS is Back Tournament in 2020. 
  • César Araújo scored his first goals as a Lion since joining the Club this past offseason, tallying a brace on the night. The finishes also served as his first with any franchise throughout his professional career.
  • Mauricio Pereyra scored his first goal in U.S. Open Cup play. He now has two goals this season across all competitions to go along with his team-leading 11 assists. 
  • João Moutinho notched his first assist of the campaign in all competitions on Pereyra’s second half finish. 
  • Benji Michel scored his second goal and tallied his second assist of the 2022 campaign across all competitions in the second half.
  • Facundo Torres scored his sixth goals across all competitions and his second in the Open Cup. He previously scored the leveling goal against Inter Miami in the Round of 16. Torres also tallied an assist on the night, his seventh across all competitions. 
  • Júnior Urso recorded his fifth assist across all competitions on the Torres finish.
  • Benji Michel tallied his second assist across all comps this season, his other coming on April 30 against Charlotte FC in MLS play.
  • Araújo, Pereyra and Michel became the seventh, eighth and ninth different players to score for the Lions during their Open Cup run. City have scored 11 goals in their five Open Cup games. 
  • City’s five goals on the night is the most they have scored all season and the most they have scored since putting five past the San Jose Earthquakes on June 22, 2021.
  • Head Coach Oscar Pareja made four changes to his starting lineup from the weekend, with Antonio Carlos, Júnior Urso, Benji Michel and Alexandre Pato all getting the nod.

Next Match: The Lions return to league play, traveling to take on D.C. United on Sunday, July 31 in a 5 p.m. ET kickoff at Audi Field.