ORLANDO – Orlando City SC beat the Columbus Crew 1-0 at Exploria Stadium Saturday night.
After struggling for most of the match, local player Beji Michel fired in a shot off of a cross from the speedy Ruan in the 84th minute that proved to be the game winner. Michel is the first Homegrown player to score an MLS goal for the First Team in club history.
Head Coach James O’Connor:
“Obviously a massive, massive win for us tonight. I think we showed another great side, very positive to be able to show that kind of toughness. I don’t think we played particularly well. I thought we looked very tired, which we knew, we expected that. I think in a game like that with the emotion of the other night, we were always very wary of just what kind of energy we were going to have, so we needed to have some grit. I thought the boys showed tremendous character tonight really to be able to defend, put their bodies on the line and the guys who played so many minutes, to be able to push like that is fantastic. Great commitment from the players tonight.”
The Lions took the lead late, with Lamine Sané sending in a ball for Ruan down the right flank in behind the Columbus defense. The Brazilian defender ran onto it and played it first time across the face of goal, where Benji Michel banged home the finish.
The Lions were reduced to 10 men late when Dom Dwyer was shown a red card in the third minute of stoppage time.
The Lions face yet another quick turnaround as they travel to face the Portland Timbers on Thursday, July 18 at the newly-renovated Providence Park. Kickoff for that match is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET on ESPN. The boys then head back home for a match against the NY Red Bulls on Sunday July 21 at Exploria Stadium.
— More to Come —