Orlando City hosted the New England Revolution Saturday night in a pre-playoff test of mettle for both teams. The Lions, who had been riding a long run of good form, continued to rise to the challenge, winning 3-2 on the strength of late first-half goals by Duncan McGuire, Facundo Torres, and Iván Angulo. These were assisted by by Dagur Dan Thórhallsson and Mauricio Pereryra, Angulo and Rafael Santos, and Santos and Pereyra, respectively. Torres’ goal was particularly impressive, as he scored his goal on a wicked volley on Angulo’s cross, which was behind him — see picture 38 in the gallery above.
The game was well contested, but not as close at the scoreline indicated. The Lions mostly controlled the game after the first 20 minutes and the Carles Gil goals came as the result of an extremely rare Pedro Gallese goalkeeping error and an unfortunate deflection late in second-half stoppage time.
With the victory, Orlando locked up second place in MLS along with a 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup berth and home field throughout the playoffs for almost every possible game. (The Lions will have a road game in the best-of-three, first-round series and the only other matchup in which they wouldn’t host would be if they meet FC Cincinnati.)
The Exploria Stadium crowd of 24,440 came out in force for the final regular-season home game of the year, providing the top-notch MLS atmosphere that Orlando is known for. The team responded with appreciation, signing autographs during warmups and high-fiving fans on throw-ins, and generally playing for fun.
Next up is a week off for the international break, followed by a trip to Toronto to close out the regular season. Then it’s off to the playoffs!