CINCINNATI (AP) — In a dramatic upset at TQL Stadium on Saturday night, Orlando City SC (13-6-8, 47 points) handed FC Cincinnati (17-4-6, 57 points) their first home defeat of the 2023 MLS regular season, winning 1-0. The loss marked the end of FC Cincinnati’s 13-game unbeaten streak at their home stadium this season, leaving fans in disbelief.
Orlando City, with an MLS-best seven road victories, was powered by a crucial goal from Facundo Torres, his 11th of the 2023 campaign across all competitions. This goal catapulted him to the top of the team’s goal-scoring charts. Furthermore, it was Torres’s 24th goal since joining the Lions, a record that tied him for fourth place on the all-time scoring list alongside Dom Dwyer. Torres also joined the elite company of former City forward Cyle Larin as one of only two Orlando players to score at least 10 game-winning goals for the Club.
The decisive goal came in the 44th minute when Ramiro Enrique, on a blistering fast break up the middle of the field, received a direct pass from captain Mauricio Pereyra. Enrique sprinted to the endline, delivering a pinpoint pass back to the penalty spot, where Facundo Torres was waiting. Torres wasted no time, slotting the ball past Roman Celentano to the left and into the net, giving Orlando the lead just before halftime.
Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese played a crucial role in securing the win, making four vital saves on the night, which earned him his ninth clean sheet of the season across all competitions and marked his 30th clean sheet in the Club’s history.
The milestone-filled match also saw defender Robin Jansson make his 150th appearance for the Lions across all competitions, making him the first player in Orlando City’s history to reach this achievement.
Orlando City’s head coach, Oscar Pareja, praised his team’s performance, saying, “First, I would like to congratulate the players that did wonderful work today for the Club and the fans. We played against a rival that has not lost one game at home, so a very difficult place to play… That is why I am very proud of this group and will be looking forward to the next rival and just keep moving on.”
With this impressive win, Orlando City now faces a two-week break due to the international break before returning to Exploria Stadium on Saturday, September 16, to host the Columbus Crew. The eagerly awaited match is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be available on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.