ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 28, 2022) - Orlando City SC (11-10-6, 39 points) took a 2-1 victory over 2015 expansion rivals New York City FC (13-8-6, 45 points) on Sunday night thanks to a 96th minute game-winner off the head of Tesho Akindele, his second deciding finish in as many matches. Akindele also netted the late game-winner a week ago in Charlotte, scoring in the 89th minute to decide that match by the very same scoreline.
Júnior Urso accounted for the Lions’ other finish in the fixture, rifling a shot on the half volley to net his fifth goal of the campaign. Facundo Torres earned the assist on the finish, now with nine as a Lion, trailing only teammate Mauricio Pereyra in all competitions in 2022.
The victory served as the Lions’ third in a row, marking the first three-game win streak for the side since a nine-point week from June 19-25 a year ago. It also marked their first regulation victory at Exploria Stadium over their 2015 expansion rivals since March 2, 2017, the inaugural match at the side’s privately-funded downtown fortress.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“I thought it was a great victory, well deserved by our players. I think the effort they had during the whole game today showed the character that they have brought in these last three games, so we are very proud. The first half showed a lot of courage with the rain, the fans that supported us through that rain, too. It was difficult to play, but I think we showed a lot of personality, too. We came out winning the half and in the second half New York came out with some ideas that complicated us and they took the middle of the field, but after their goal our reaction, especially with the players that came in, was phenomenal. They lifted us, they took the team on their shoulders and gave us that energy that we needed and more than the energy, the ideas, and we ended up being the best team. That feeling that you’re going to score here at Exploria [Stadium] again in front of our fans is a great feeling, so we’re very happy.”
7’ Júnior Urso (Facundo Torres) - ORL 1, NYC 0
The Lions took the lead with Júnior Urso finding Facundo Torres at the edge of the area, who took a touch before giving the ball right back to “The Bear”. Urso took one touch of his own before hitting a right-footed shot on the half volley straight into the top-left corner of the net.
53’ Maxi Moralez (Thiago) - ORL 1, NYC 1
The visitors leveled shortly after the break, with Thiago sending a ball through for Maxi Moralez in behind the Lions defense, able to cut it first time straight inside the far post.
90+6’ Tesho Akindele (Iván Angulo) - ORL 2, NYC 1
Orlando found the winner late in second-half stoppage time after Iván Angulo whipped in a corner to the near post that found the head of Tesho Akindele, who was able to flick it to the far post past New York City goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
- Tesho Akindele scored his second goal of the season in as many matches, good for his second-game winner and his 20th goal in all competitions as a Lion. Akindele net the deciding finish a week ago in Charlotte in the 89th minute of play. The Lions’ forward now sits with four goals against NYCFC for the Club, the most by any current City player.
- Júnior Urso scored his fifth goal of the year in the match.
- Facundo Torres tallied his ninth assist of the campaign, just one shy of Mauricio Pereyra for the team lead.
- Iván Angulo recorded his first assist as a Lion on the Akindele game-winning goal.
- Ruan tallied his 100th start in all competitions.
- Pedro Gallese earned his 75th start for the Club on Sunday.
- Wilder Cartagena made his first start for Orlando City in the fixture.
- Andrés Perea made his 80th appearance for the Club, entering the game in the 64th minute.
- Head Coach Oscar Pareja made three changes to his starting lineup from the side’s last match, with Cartagena, João Moutinho and Benji Michel all getting the nod.
Next Match: The Lions will have a quick turnaround as they welcome the Seattle Sounders to Exploria Stadium on Wednesday, August 31. Kickoff for that match is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.