MONTREAL – Orlando City SC (13-9-12 51 points) defeated CF Montreal 2-0 (12-12-10 46 points) 2-0 to punch their second consecutive playoff berth in the 2021 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs at Stade Saputo.
The Victory gives Orlando sixth position in the Eastern Conference, and a match against Nashville SC in the first round. This season, all three of the Orlando and Nashvilles matches resulted in draws.
Sebastian Mendez took advantage of a poorly cleared header by Nashville that fell to his feet. Mendez took a light touch, then blasted a shot from outside, left of the area into the net in the 55th minute.
Later in the 66th minute, Daryl Dike added to the score when Ruan streaked up the side and managed to thread a ball through the Nashville back line to Dike who was running with pace and put it past goalkeeper Sebastian Breza for a 2-0 score,
Orlando Head Coach Oscar Pareja was proud and grateful after the win.
“I would like to remark the effort of the players today.” Said Pareja. “I would like to remark the support of our fans that in spite of some difficult moments that we have been through throughout the year, they believe in this group and the manifestation that they made yesterday coming to our [training facility] and that energy is a reflection of what is happening in Orlando. Congratulations to them and congratulations to the new owners too that have been very supportive of our group. Once again it was a very difficult match with urgencies today. There was no tomorrow, it must be done today here in Montreal after what happened against Nashville at home that was very difficult to absorb, but the players showed a lot of character. I liked our game, I thought we were very smart today in trying to neutralize them and just taking our special moments to define the game. We are very pleased, very happy for the Club and now we will get ready for Nashville.”
The Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs will kick off on Nov. 20, seeing 12 single-elimination playoff matches played across two weeks all aired on national television leading into the 2021 MLS Cup on Dec. 11. Matchup dates, times, as well as broadcast details will be announced in the coming days.