Tesho Akindele’s Late Strike Lifts Lions to Victory in Charlotte

Ercan Kara also scores for Orlando City; Lions move above playoff

CHARLOTTE, NC –  Orlando City SC (10-10-6, 36 points) earned a hard-fought three points on the road on Sunday night, defeating expansion side Charlotte FC (10-15-2, 32 points) 2-1 at Bank of America Stadium. The Lions were backed by second-half goals from Ercan Kara and Tesho Akindele, the latter coming in the 89th minute to secure all three points for the visitors.

Aug 21, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Orlando City forward Tesho Akindele (13) reacts after scoring the winning goal in the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

With the win, Orlando keeps Charlotte behind them in the MLS standings as they were only one point behind the Lions before the game.

“An excellent game for us to show the character of the players.” Said Orlando Head Coach Oscar Pareja. ” It was an excellent game to prove that these guys are working hard and the game would reward them. What I saw in the first half, the football that the team played in the first half was very good. We dominated the tempo, we created chances, we avoided [letting Charlotte] create chances, we made superiorities in the spaces that we needed.”

“Second half we understood that, being away, sometimes you just want to hold the game higher but it’s normal that the reaction of the other team is aggressive and cost us that tie goal. But, I noticed that our reaction after that goal was very professional and calm, and that made us score the second one which is something that hasn’t happened much this season. So we’re proud.”

In the 62nd minute, Facundo Torres took a ball from Junior Use at theta of the box. Faculty sled a pass in between two defenders to Ersan Kara, who put the ball in for the first goal of the match.

Charlotte equalized four minutes later when Kamil Józwiak and Brandt Bronico combined down the left flank. Józwiak then crossed the ball to a streakingMcKenzie Gaines headed the bal past Pedro Gallese in the 66th minute.

Orlando sealed the deal in the 89th minute when Tesho Akindele took a ball from Junior Urso in the midfield, and took a shot. The shot was blocked, but Tesho managed to put in the rebound for the winning goal.

Orlando City returns back home to Exploria Stadium next weekend, hosting 2015 expansion rival NYCFC on Sunday evening in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. That match will air nationally on FS1.

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