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Lions Pull Off Thrilling Comeback to Defeat Portland 3-2

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 8, 2018) – Orlando City SC (2-2-1, 7 points) erased a two-goal deficit with less than 10 minutes of play to earn a 3-2 win over the Portland Timbers (0-3-2, 2 points) on Saturday at Orlando City Stadium. Chris Mueller scored his first professional goal and Sacha Kljestan scored his first as a Lion before Dom Dwyer’s game-winner.

“Obviously very, very pleased with the result. Again, I feel like this week was very similar to last week in many ways,” Lions head coach Jason Kreis said. “Incredible workrate by the guys. Incredible that they stick together. Incredible that they come back from two goals down. The effort and all those things were fantastic. I still think, though, we’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got a lot of improvement to make and so we cannot let this result take us to a place where we start to feel comfortable. We have to improve.”

Portland opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Diego Valeri converted from the penalty spot. Timbers midfielder Sebastián Blanco was initially issued a second yellow card for diving in the box but Portland was awarded a penalty upon Video Review and the card was rescinded. Bendik guessed correctly and got his fingertips on Valeri’s kick.

The Timbers made it 2-0 in the 59th minute when Bill Tuiloma headed in Valeri’s corner delivery.

Three second-half substitutions ignited City’s comeback. RJ Allen entered the match for Scott Sutter in the 57th minute, Chris Mueller came on for Josué Colmán 10 minutes later and Stéfano Pinho made his first appearance since March 10 when he came on for Justin Meram in the 76th minute.

City got on the board when Mueller headed in Yoshimar Yotún’s corner delivery for his first professional goal. Two minutes later, Dwyer was dragged down in the box and Kljestan made no mistake from the penalty spot to draw the match.

In the 87th minute, Allen chipped the ball up to Dwyer and put him in behind the Timbers back line. Dwyer evaded two defenders before rifling his first game-winning goal as a Lion past goalkeeper Jake Gleeson.

City heads on its second road trip of the season when it visits the Philadelphia Union on Friday, April 13. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET and will be nationally televised on ESPN. The Lions return to Orlando City Stadium on Saturday, April 21, to host the San Jose Earthquakes at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Match Notes

  • This was the first time Orlando City came back from from a two-goal deficit to win.
  • F Dom Dwyer and GK Joe Bendik each made their 150th career MLS appearances. Eight of Dwyer’s 150 appearances have been in MLS Cup Playoffs, while all of Bendik’s have been in the regular season.
  • F Dom Dwyer scored his first game-winning goal as a Lion. Dwyer has three goals in two games in 2018 and has either scored or assisted on 11 of City’s last 21 goals dating to 2017. The goal was the 98th of Dwyer’s professional career.
  • M Josué Colmán was included in the Starting XI for the first time as a Lion. The match marked the first time all three of City’s Designated Players (Colmán, M Sacha Kljestan, F Dom Dwyer) were in the Starting XI in 2018.
  • GK Joe Bendik’s four saves tie a season-high set on March 10 vs. Minnesota.
  • D Jonathan Spector made his first Start since March 17 at New York City. Spector wore the captain’s armband for the fourth time this season.
    F Stéfano Pinho made his first appearance since suffering an ankle injury on March 10.
  • D RJ Allen earned his first assist as a Lion on F Dom Dwyer’s game-winning goal.
  • The second half was City’s first three-goal half since the second half on Sept. 27, 2017 vs. New England (W, 6-1).
  • City’s 12 corner kicks mark a season-high.
  • Orlando City improves to 3-1-0 all-time against Portland, including 2-0-0 at home and 3-0-0 in the month of April.
  • The win builds City’s first winning streak since April 2017.
  • Today is D Mohamed El-Munir’s 26th birthday.

Scoring Summary:
POR - Diego Valeri (PK) 20’
POR - Bill Tuiloma (Diego Valeri) 59’
ORL - Chris Mueller (Yoshimar Yotún) 80’
ORL - Sacha Kljestan (PK) 82’
ORL - Dom Dwyer (RJ Allen) 87’

Misconduct Summary:
POR - Sebastián Blanco (Yellow Card) 9’
ORL - Mohamed El-Munir (Yellow Card) 28’
POR - Jake Gleeson (Yellow Card) 77’
ORL - Dom Dwyer (Yellow Card) 90+3’


Orlando City SC - GK Joe Bendik, D Mohamed El-Munir, ⓒ Jonathan Spector, Lamine Sané, Scott Sutter (RJ Allen 57’), M Yoshimar Yotún, Will Johnson, Sacha Kljestan, Josué Colmán (Chris Mueller 67’), F Dom Dwyer, Justin Meram (Stéfano Pinho 76’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Earl Edwards, Jr., D Amro Tarek, M Cristian Higuita, Dillon Powers

Portland Timbers - GK Jake Gleeson, D Alvas Powell, Larrys Mabiala, Bill Tuiloma, Zarek Valentin, M Diego Chara, Cristhian Paredes (Lawrence Olum 64’), Andy Polo, M ⓒ Diego Valeri, Sebastián Blanco, F Samuel Armenteros (Dairon Asprilla 68’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Jeff Attinella, D Julio Cascante, Marco Farfan, Andrés Flores, F Fanendo Adi

Details of the Game:
Time: 4:08 p.m. ET
Weather: Clear
Date: April 8, 2018
Attendance: 22,337


ORL - 58.3 %
POR - 41.7 %

ORL - 24
POR - 13

ORL - 4
POR - 4

ORL - 10
POR - 12

ORL - 12
POR - 1


UPDATE: June 10, 2020 - Major League Soccer announced it will restart the 2020 season with all 26 MLS clubs competing in the MLS is Back Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida beginning July 8. Upon completion of the tournament, MLS plans to continue its regular season with a revised schedule in home markets. The revised schedule may see certain matches from the original 2020 MLS regular season schedule being cancelled or rescheduled. The final number of matches and the schedule for the remainder of the 2020 MLS regular season and related ticket policies will be announced in the coming weeks.