ORLANDO, FL – Orlando City SC (13-12-6, 45 points) defeated Toronto FC (9-16-7, 34 points) 4-0 on Saturday night at Exploria Stadium. Coming into the match with 42 points, and several other clubs within 5 points with three matches left, the Lions got the job done with goals by Fecund Torres, Ercan Akra, Tesho Akindele, and a Toronto own goal.
Saturday’s win eliminates Toronto form any 2022 playoff chances.
Orlando’s win was great motivation for Head Coach Oscar Parej to keep pushing the team on into their final three matches, two derby’s on the road vs NYCFC and Miami, and black at home vs Columbus.
“A very complete performance with a group that is very responsible. We looked at the quantity of games with no time to rest and they came out today and they put up a very important victory and a very good performance. I thought we were solid. We kept their goals to zero, we scored goals and we had good moments on the field where the team was very connected. [I] saw a lot of good things. The boys now need to go and rest, they deserve it and [we’ll] get ready for the next three matches. We will keep pushing.”
Facundo Torres opened up the scoring for Orlando in the ninth minute, Ivan Angulo flicked the ball to Torres off of his back heel, and Torres fired a lefty shot into the back of the net.
In the 22nd minute, Mauricio Pareyra got an assist to Ercan Kara behind the Toronto defense, and Kara took a light touch and then a blast into the back of the net to double the score.
Right after the halftime break, João Moutinho drove the ball into the Toronto area and tired a shot that was deflected off of Lukas MacNaughton and went directly into the back of the Reds’ net, making it a 3-0 match in the 47th minute.
Finally, in the 84th minute, Iván Angulo slid a nice pass through for Tesho Akindele behind the Reds defense. Tesho took the. all with hiss left foot and smashed it in to seal the win for Orlando.
Mauricio Pereyra became the first Lion to post multiple double-digit assist seasons in MLS, tallying his 10th of the campaign. Pereyra’s helper on Kara’s finish matched the Club single-season assists record in league play, one he currently holds for his 2021 campaign along with Kaká (2016), Yoshimar Yotún (2018) and Nani (2019).
The Lions enter a week off from match play, next set to travel to take on New York City FC, but not in Yankee Stadium, but at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, on Sunday, Oct. 2.