Orlando, Florida — Heading into the MLS is Back Tournament, all eyes were on Orlando City SC. The host-club for the tournament, Orlando City SC entered with a lot to prove. Ever since the club’s creation, the Lions have never made the MLS playoffs.
That changed in a tournament-style competition.
The MLS is Back Tournament might not serve as the whole MLS season. However, the Orlando City Lions have shown their stripes. And, the team secured its first-ever knockout round victory against the Montreal Impact on Saturday night.
Tesho Akindele — who is a native of Calgary, Canada — found the game-winning goal in the 60th minute. Akindele picked up on a defensive miscue from the Impact and goalkeeper Clément Diop. The ball was played by Jhegson Méndez, who slotted it over to Akindele.
Meanwhile, the Impact could not find an equalizing goal. Thierry Henry’s side had a couple chances, especially when Romell Quioto got his head on a corner kick. However, the shot went wide and away from Orlando goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.
Each goalkeeper had a relatively simple day in net, but Gallese and his side took the victory. Gallese was forced to make one save against Samuel Piette. Meanwhile, Diop made one save against Orlando powerhouse Méndez.
Orlando’s match in the Quarterfinals will be on July 31 at 7:30 p.m. EST on FS1.
— Last Word on Soccer (@LastWordSC) July 26, 2020
Three Takeaways from the Orlando City SC victory
- Orlando’s lack of chances: Orlando did find victory, but the lack of chances is a concern. Only two shots on goal in the entire match is not good enough. There needs to be more production on offense. Seattle and LAFC are strong teams with strong midfields. If Orlando could only get two shots on goal against Montreal, the Lions are in trouble in the Quarterfinals.
- Tesho Akindele success: All eyes have been on Chris Mueller in this tournament, for good reason. He has scored some pretty top-notch goals for the Lions. However, Akindele found the back of the net tonight. It was a gaffe from the Montreal defense, yes, but it’s a great confidence booster for the Canadian striker.
- Defense was stout for Orlando: Montreal didn’t press too high against the Lions, but the Orlando City defense held up. Gallese not having to do much work is a good thing, not anything detrimental to the goalkeeper. The defense has to stay stout against either a powerful LAFC team or an attack-heavy Sounders team.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 26, 2020