Orlando City gets one on the winning side with 2-1 win over Toronto

Toronto, ON – Orlando City SC (6-9-6, 24 points) picked up all three points at Toronto FC (7-12-3, 24 points) on Wednesday night with a 2-1 victory at BMO Field. The win was a good look for the Lions after their 4-2 loss to NYCFC last Friday.

Jul 3, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto FC forward Lorenzo Insigne (24) battles for a ball with Orlando City midfielder Dagur Thorhallsson (17) against Orlando City during the first half at BMO Field. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando’s defensive struggles showed again early in the game.

In the fifth minute, Federico Bernardeschi sent a ball across the field to Raoul Petretta. Petretta knocked it back in for Derrick Etienne Jr., who smashed a shot past goalkeeper Pedro Gallese for the opener. Etienne Jr. was not covered, making it a pretty easy shot. 1-0 Toronto.

In the ninth minute, Bernardeschi got open against Ivan Angulo for another shot, but it was off target.

The Lions did bring some action to the Reds’ side, with a chance by Angulo that was blocked by Toronto keeper Sean Johnson in the 24th minute.

In the 27th minute, the Lions were able to equalize when Facundo Torres held the ball at the top of the Toronto box and fed Iván Angulo in behind the defense down the left wing. Angulo hit a cross first-time with his left foot where Martín Ojeda was able to get his head on the end of it and power it past goalkeeper Sean Johnson, making it 1-1.

Jul 3, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Orlando City midfielder Ivan Angulo (77) celebrates an own goal against Toronto FC during the first half at BMO Field. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Just before stoppage time, Martín Ojeda streaked up the middle against the Toronto defense and fed the ball to Facundo Torres as he streaked down the right wing. Torres sent a cross in, but it deflected off of defender Nickseon Gomis and wound up in the back of the net for an own goal, making it 2-1.

Lions head coach Oscar Pareja was pleased with the night’s results.

“I want to congratulate the players for such an important result,” said Pareja. “At this moment, we need to add winning games. Today they demonstrated the commitment that they have with the Club. So we’re very proud of these results and the effort they had on the pitch. The first half, I liked it a lot. I thought we played very well; this is pretty much what we are. We scored goals and, despite that first [Toronto] goal in the first minutes that shouldn’t happen, the reaction was outstanding from the players.”

But there were still challenges.

“In the second half, it happened that we defended in the last period of the game, very low. We could contain the numbers and the volume of players that Toronto sent, but we also had some opportunities to put the game to 3-1. So again, we’re happy. This is a good step for us at this moment. Now we’re looking forward to going back home and then winning there.”

With the win, Orlando City remains unbeaten at BMO Stadium since 2018.

Orlando returns to Inter & Co Stadium on Saturday to face DC United, a match in which soccer legend Kaka will be honored.

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