ORLANDO, Fla. (Sept. 4, 2021) - Behind goals from three different scorers, Orlando City SC (10-4-8, 38 points) defeated the visiting Columbus Crew (7-10-6, 27 points) by a 3-2 scoreline on Saturday night at Exploria Stadium. With the win, the 23rd of his tenure, head coach Oscar Pareja became the Club’s leader in all-time wins. Pareja, who coached his 52nd game on Saturday, surpassed Jason Kreis who coached 65 matches during his stint in Orlando.
The win also extended the Lions’ current unbeaten run to seven-straight games, dating back to a 3-2 victory over Atlanta United on July 30.
Forward Daryl Dike alongside forward Silvester van der Water and midfielder Júnior Urso netted the Lions’ three goals on the evening, with Urso’s second-half screamer proving to be the game-winner. Dike, as well as captain Nani, earned assists on the night.
With the start on Saturday evening, forward Chris Mueller recorded his 104th regular-season appearance for the Lions to become the Club’s all-time appearance leader in the category. Adam Grinwis also earned his first start of the season between the pipes, the goalkeeper’s first in a Lions’ kit since August 6, 2019.
26’ Daryl Dike (Nani) - ORL 1, CLB 0
The Lions opened the scoring on a strong individual effort from Daryl Dike, who collected a long clearance from captain Nani, before carrying the ball down the field. The forward fought off a Columbus defender before dancing in the box and firing home a roofed-shot for the game’s opening goal.
29’ Silvester van der Water - ORL 2, CLB 0
Just minutes after Dike’s goal, forward Silvester van der Water added to the tally with a long-range, left-footed shot that dipped over the Columbus backline and past Eloy Room.
52’ Antonio Carlos (Own Goal) - ORL 2, CLB 1
The visitors pulled one back early into the second half after an own goal from Lions’ defender Antonio Carlos.
54’ Miguel Berry (Derrick Etienne Jr., Lucas Zelarayán) - ORL 2, CLB 2
Columbus leveled things two minutes later after a quick passing sequence broke through the Lions’ backline, with Miguel Berry eventually slotting it beyond Adam Grinwis.
69’ Júnior Urso (Daryl Dike) - ORL 3, CLB 2
The Lions tallied what would prove to be the game-winner in the 69th minute on a distance shot through traffic from Urso. With the ball bouncing at the top of the box, Daryl Dike played a quick flick to Urso nearby, who needed only one strike to send a low, driven volley into the bottom corner for the three points.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“It was a good effort by the players today. Once again they took us over many hurdles today, the game was like a rollercoaster of emotions for us. Dominating, not just the score but dominating the game in the first half and then coming back in the second half to a [Columbus] team that created trouble for us initially. Then we conceded two goals that put us in a difficult situation emotionally. It was a tough moment for the team and that’s when the character, the togetherness and the glue that this team has came out again and took us over that hurdle. It was a great third goal. It was a period in that second half where we were dominating on top of them [Columbus] and then the victory just magnified that effort at the end. There are things we need to be better, of course, we would like to keep being solid defensively but scoring three goals today is great. We were talking all week about how we could get back to scoring more and, today, we did.”
- Oscar Pareja became the Club’s all-time winningest coach on Saturday night, earning his 23rd victory in 52 matches at the helm. Pareja passes former coach Jason Kreis for the lead, who coached 65 games from 2016-18.
- The win extended the Lions’ current unbeaten run to seven-straight games, dating back to July 30, a record of 3-0-4 over that span.
- With 87 minutes played on Saturday night, forward Chris Mueller became the Club’s all-time regular season appearance leader, recording his 104th game to surpass former Lion Cristian Higuita.
- Goalkeeper Adam Grinwis earned his first start of the 2021 season for the Lions and his first in MLS since Aug. 6, 2019 with Orlando in the US Open Cup.
- Daryl Dike debuted in Oscar Pareja’s starting lineup for the first time since July 3, a 2-1 loss at the New York Red Bulls.
- Coming in as a second-half substitute, Maurico Pereyra made his return to the field after missing the Lions previous three matches due to injury.
- After being added as a pool goalkeeper on Friday, Greg Ranjitsingh was available for the Lions on the bench, his first time in an Orlando kit since he was a member of the team in 2019.
- Silvester van der Water scored his third goal of the season with his 29th-minute strike.
- With the assist on Daryl Dike’s opener, Nani added to his team-lead in assists, now with seven on the year.
Next Match: The Lions will look to keep their current run of form going, traveling a state north to face Atlanta United on Friday, Sept. 10 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Kickoff for the match is slated for 7 p.m. ET.