Pereyra Scores Game Winner in Lions’ 2-1 Victory Over Miami

Mauricio Pereyra Scores Game Winner in Lions’ 2-1 Victory Over Inter Miami

ORLANDO, Fla. (Sept. 12, 2020) - Orlando City SC (5-2-4, 19 points) earned a 2-1 victory on Saturday night over intrastate foes Inter Miami CF (2-7-2, 8 points) at Exploria Stadium. The visit marked the first for the 2020 expansion side to downtown Orlando after opening the MLS is Back Tournament in neighboring Kissimmee on July 8.

Mauricio Pereyra had his hand in both goals for the Lions on the night, scoring the game-winner in the 69th minute. A free kick from the midfielder forced City’s first goal of the match, an own goal from Miami’s Andrés Reyes. Chris Mueller took sole possession of second in Club history in assists during the match, earning the 15th of his career on Pereyra’s game-winner to pass former Lion Yoshi Yotún. 

Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“Good game especially, again, the first half for us was with a lot of quality and the players imposed on the game by creating options. We came back from the first half, we didn’t want to change but I think Diego [Alonso] moved his team very well and then they started creating some challenges for us especially on the sides because he extended his lines. I think we had opportunities to react. When we did that, we scored the second goal and then after it was just about the derby. It was a game about two teams who are defending the state and what it means for us in beating Miami, it’s great so we want to dedicate this to the fans. We know how happy they are. That is a very, very important three points, but it gets magnified against Miami.”

Scoring Recap:

34’ Andrés Reyes (OG) - ORL 1, MCF 0
The Lions took the lead after a free kick was whipped into the area from the left side by Mauricio Pereyra, deflecting off the head of Inter Miami defender Andrés Reyes into the back of the net to give City the advantage.

65’ Brek Shea (Rodolfo Pizarro) - ORL 1, MCF 1
Inter Miami leveled after a cross from Rodolfo Pizarro from the right flank found the head of Brek Shea in the box for the equalizer.

69’ Mauricio Pereyra (Chris Mueller) - ORL 2, MCF 1
City quickly regained the lead after Chris Mueller was able to fend off pressure from the Inter Miami defense long enough to tee up Pereyra at the edge of the area, whose shot hit off the post and into the back of the net. 

Match Notes:

  • Mauricio Pereyra scored his second goal of the regular-season in the match after his free kick forced the early own goal for the Lions’ first finish of the evening. 
  • Chris Mueller registered his fourth assist of the season, a team-high. With the assist Mueller took sole possession of second in Club history at 15 for his career, passing former Lion Yoshi Yotún. 
  • Joey DeZart earned his first regular-season MLS minutes in the match. The No. 31 overall pick at the 2020 MLS SuperDraft made his Orlando City debut in the Round of 16 at the MLS is Back Tournament against Montreal earlier this year. 
  • Alex De John made his first appearance of the season in the match, entering the game in the 84th minute for Mauricio Pereyra. 
  • The own goal by Andrés Reyes marked the first of the season for the Lions in their favor. 
  • Saturday’s match marked the first time the Lions welcomed intrastate foes Inter Miami CF to Exploria Stadium since the expansion side joined Major League Soccer this year.

Next Match: The Lions return to Exploria Stadium to face Chicago Fire FC on Saturday, Sept. 19 to close out a three-game home stint.