ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando City SC (4-1-3, 15 points) returned to the pitch on Saturday night, taking a 3-2 victory over Toronto FC (1-5-2, 5 points) at Exploria Stadium. The Lions took the field as the road side on the night, as Toronto FC continues to share the Club’s facility in downtown Orlando, with the match played without spectators.
Júnior Urso scored the deciding goal in the 84th minute of play, combining on the give-and-go with Chris Mueller ahead of the finish. Tesho Akindele and Nani also found the back of the net, with the former scoring in the first minute for the second time this season and the latter extending his team-lead with four goals on the year.
Brandon Austin made his Orlando City debut in between the posts, starting in net for the Lions, while Daryl Dike made his first appearance since returning from his loan spell at Barnsley, entering the contest in the 65th minute for Akindele.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“Great victory. First of all, we want to send a message to the people who have lost family members during the past year. Today was an emotional day for us and we want to share this joy that we have with Rodrigo [Schlegel] and his family. We dedicate this triumph to him, his family. Regarding the game, it was an exceptional performance for us. Today we played against a very good team and especially in the second half we had the personality to resolve the game. We scored three goals today, good sensations, a great victory. Emotional for us, but a great victory, a great three points.”
1’ Tesho Akindele (Mauricio Pereyra, Andrés Perea) – ORL 1, TOR 0
The Lions wasted no time in the match, with Andrés Perea finding Mauricio Pereyra up the middle, who took one touch before threading the needle to find a running Tesho Akindele. The front man needed just one touch to slot home the finish in the first minute of play.
8’ Nani (Tesho Akindele, Silvester van der Water) – ORL 2, TOR 0
City doubled its advantage after Silvester van der Water pressured Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Westberg before stealing the ball and finding Akindele. The goal-scorer lofted a ball into the center of the box that found the head of Lions’ captain Nani for the finish.
10’ Ayo Akinola – ORL 2, TOR 1
Toronto grabbed one back just two minutes later, with former Lion Richie Laryea rifling a shot only to be saved by goalkeeper Brandon Austin. The rebound however fell to the head of Ayo Akinola to halve the deficit.
39’ Jonathan Osorio (Alejandro Pozuelo) – ORL 2, TOR 2
The Reds leveled with Alejandro Pozuelo taking it to the endline before cutting it back to Jonathan Osorio for the first time finish.
84’ Júnior Urso (Chris Mueller) – ORL 3, TOR 2
City regained the lead after a Toronto turnover found the feet of Júnior Urso, who ran the combination with Chris Mueller before sending it past Quentin Westberg for his second goal of the year and the game-winner.
Júnior Urso scored his second goal of the season and his first deciding finish of the year.
Tesho Akindele scored his third goal of the year in the match and his second inside the first minute of play. The finish served as Akindele’s 40th in MLS regular-season action, with 24 as a member of FC Dallas and 16 now as a Lion.
Nani found the back of the net for the fourth time this season to extend his team lead, now tied with Kaká for second in Club history in all competitions with 25 as a Lion.
Five different Lions earned an assist in the match, with Chris Mueller and Tesho Akindele adding to their team-high three assists on the year while Mauricio Pereyra and Silvester van der Water recorded their second of 2021. Andrés Perea tallied his first such mark of the year with the secondary assist on Akindele’s first-minute finish.
Brandon Austin recorded his Orlando City debut on the night, starting in between the sticks for the Lions.
Daryl Dike made his first appearance since returning from his loan-spell with Barnsley FC, entering in the 64th minute for Tesho Akindele.
Antonio Carlos and Júnior Urso each made their 30th starts for Orlando City in all competitions on the night.
Next Match: The Lions face a quick turnaround, set to host the San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday, June 22 at Exploria Stadium in front of a full-capacity crowd.
ORL – Tesho Akindele (Mauricio Pereyra, Andrés Perea) 1’
ORL – Nani (Tesho Akindele, Silvester van der Water) 8’
TOR – Ayo Akinola 10’
TOR – Jonathan Osorio (Alejandro Pozuelo) 39’
ORL – Júnior Urso (Chris Mueller) 84’
TOR – Marky Delgado (Yellow Card) 64’
TOR – Omar González (Yellow Card) 67’
ORL – Júnior Urso (Yellow Card) 70’
ORL – João Moutinho (Yellow Card) 75’
ORL – Nani (Yellow Card) 90+8’
Orlando City SC – GK Brandon Austin; D João Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, Kyle Smith; M Silvester van der Water (Chris Mueller 71’), Júnior Urso, Andrés Perea, Mauricio Pereyra (Benji Michel 80’); F Tesho Akindele (Daryl Dike 64’), Nani ©
Substitutes Not Used: GK Mason Stajduhar; D Michael Halliday, Rio Hope-Gund; M Joey DeZart, Uri Rosell; F Alexander Alvarado
Toronto FC – GK Quentin Westberg; D Kemar Lawrence, Chris Mavinga, Omar González, Richie Laryea; M Auro Jr., Michael Bradley ©, Alejandro Pozuelo, Jonathan Osorio (Jacob Shaffelburg 71’), Marky Delgado (Dom Dwyer 87’); F Ayo Akinola (Patrick Mullins 64’)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Alex Bono; D Nick DeLeon, Justin Morrow, Eriq Zavaleta; M Tsubasa Endoh, Noble Okello
Details of the Game:
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Date: June 19, 2021
TOR – 52.3%
ORL – 47.7%
TOR – 15
ORL – 12
TOR – 1
ORL – 2
TOR – 6
ORL – 13
TOR – 8
ORL – 6