Orlando City claimed its first-ever U.S. Open Cup title on Wednesday night.
Facundo Torres struck twice and Benji Michel added a third as the Lions cruised towards a 3-0 victory over the Sacramento Republic in front of an announced sellout crowd of 25,527 at Exploria.
“It’s important to recognize that Orlando has won the first time here and we are very proud of the community of the club, the fans, the players,” coach Oscar Pareja said after the game. “To have this opportunity to bring this trophy meant means a lot against a very tough rival. Very competitive much that until the 50, 60 minutes it looked like a really tough final.”
“We’re good, proud. Congratulations to all involved in this trophy,” he added. “We are very grateful for this for tonight, and we’ll have to continue and just give a lot of joy to the community.”
The feat was Orlando’s first major trophy since entering Major League Soccer in 2015.
Facundo Torres opened the scoring in the 75th minute when Ivan Angulo won a turnover in the final third, finding Benji Michel inside the box, before turning and find an open Torres to strike the ball past the keeper.
Orlando doubled the lead moments later in the 80th minute when a foul on Michel inside the box awarded the Lions a penalty, which saw the Uruguayan convert the spot kick to make it 2-0.
Michel capped the scoring in stoppage time after finishing off a play off a ball from Torres, striking the ball toward the far right-post for the game-sealing 3-0 scoreline.
Orlando dominated possession in the first half, but couldn’t do much with its six shots – all of which were off target.
Facundo Torres had the first shot of the game in the eighth minute but his opportunity sailed over the crossbar.
Moments later in the 20th minute, a cross from Joao Moutinho found Antonio Carlos, who headed the ball toward Ercan Kara and Ivan Angulo. Still, neither player wasn’t able to get a hold of the ball.
In the 42nd minute, Torres forced a turnover to win the ball in Orlando’s final third but his shot was quickly blocked by a Sacramento defender.
75’ – Facundo Torres, assisted by Benji Michel (ORL)
80’ – Facundo Torres, penalty (ORL)
90+6’ – Benji Michel, assisted by Facundo Torres (ORL)
How the Lions lined up
Orlando City XI: Pedro Gallese; Joao Moutinho, Rodrigo Schlegel, Antonio Carlos, Ruan (Kyle Smith, 83’); Cesar Araujo, Junior Urso (Wilder Cartagena 90’), Mauricio Pereyra (Andres Perea, 90’), Ivan Angulo (Tesho Akindele, 83’), Facundo Torres; Ercan Kara (Benji Michel, 61’).
Unused Substitutes: Mason Stajduhar, Robin Jansson.