With four losses in five games coming into the match, Orlando City needed something to be happy with going into the three-and-a-half week Gold Cup break and they found it with a 3-0 victory over the Montreal Impact on Saturday afternoon in the French city.
For the Lions, the win snapped a four-game losing streak against Montreal, picking up their first victory over the Impact since September 7, 2016.
A quiet game through the first 25 minutes, following up the UEFA Champions League Final earlier in the day, Nani finally broke the deadlock in the 27th minute when he converted a penalty kick past Evan Bush, his 8th goal of the season and 100th of his illustrious career, to put the Lions up 1-0.
Orlando was awarded the penalty just moments earlier when Zakaria Diallo’s hand made contact with the ball in mid-air off a corner kick, forcing referee Chris Penso to point to the spot.
Things started to pick up for Orlando City after the goal. Chris Mueller ripped a shot off his right foot that Bush was able to save without much issue.
Four minutes later, after Cristian Higuita won the ball back in the middle of the field, Mueller found Tesho Akindele making a run on the far side, as the Canadian international, who didn’t make the cut for Canada’s 23-man Gold Cup roster earlier in the week, slotted it home for the easy goal, making it a 2-0 game in the 37th minute.
Will Johnson, another Canadian international, helped put the dagger in Montreal just before the half when he capped off a beautiful 22-pass sequence with a header off Joao Moutinho’s deflected cross, stretching the Lions’ lead to 3-0 in the 43rd minute.
This honestly might be the best team goal Orlando City have ever scored. Gorgeous. pic.twitter.com/4qMfdkm8l5
— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) June 1, 2019
The Lions’ defense continued to stand up strong to the Impact throughout the second half after holding them without a shot until the 39th minute of the match, keeping them off the scoreboard as well and cruising to their second shutout of the season.
Up Next for Orlando
The Lions won’t see anymore league action until June 26, but they will enter the US Open Cup on June 12 when they travel to Tennessee to take on Memphis 901 FC in the Fourth Round of the tournament.
27′ – Nani (Orlando City)
37′ – Tesho Akindele (Orlando City)
43′ – Will Johnson (Orlando City)
How the Lions lined up
Orlando City XI: Brian Rowe, João Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Lamine Sané, Ruan; Will Johnson, Sebastián Méndez, Cristian Higuita (83′); Nani (c) (76′), Tesho Akindele, Chris Mueller (86′).
Orlando City Bench: Greg Ranjitsingh, Josué Colmán, Uri Rosell (86′), Sacha Kljestan (76′), Kamal Miller, Kyle Smith (83′), Benji Michel.
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