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Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew: Player Grades and Man of the Match

How did your favorite Lions rate in the their massive 4-3 comeback win over the Crew?

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

It might be two days later, but the feelings from Orlando City’s dramatic 4-3, come-from-behind win over the Columbus Crew haven’t faded yet, despite a trip to New York City FC looming on Wednesday. The Lions refused to give up on the game, even when Cucho Hernandez put Columbus ahead by two goals with less than a third of the match remaining.

Let’s take a look at how Orlando City’s players rated individually in a crucial Eastern Conference win.

Starters

GK, Pedro Gallese, 7 — It’s not often you give a good score to a goalkeeper who gives up three goals, but there was little El Pulpo could do about any of the three. He was hung out to dry on two of them and Diego Rossi did a superb job of bending the second Crew goal past him and just inside the post. Gallese made seven saves in the match and some of them were incredible. His best sequence was a massive double save on Yaw Yeboah and Hernandez in the 42nd minute, keeping the deficit at just one goal entering the half. Gallese’s distribution was good, as he passed at an 81% rate and completed six of his 11 long balls. He also recorded a clearance.

D, Rafael Santos, 5.5 — I thought the young fullback took a step back in this match. He struggled to get cross attempts past the first defender, was caught up the field on the third Crew goal, and had an unstable touch. His lone shot attempt from outside the box was off target, but to be fair, it didn’t miss by much. He was 0-for-3 on crossing accuracy and just six of his 13 long balls found their target. His passing rate was a meh 68.6%. Defensively, he contributed two interceptions but nothing else and committed a foul. The Brazilian has had better matches.

D, Robin Jansson, 6.5 — Jansson had another solid night and even though he kept Columbus onside for one of the Crew goals, that one came off of a defensive-zone turnover, so it’s hard to fault him too much for the sudden change. Jansson passed well (93.2%) and three of his four long balls were accurate. He recorded a tackle and two clearances and mostly kept the middle clean, as the Crew created most of the defense’s problems from the wide areas.

D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 6.5 — Schlegel’s biggest mistake in this game was anticipating a pass that didn’t come and then getting beaten by the one that did. He’s always going to be a high-risk, high-reward kind of defender and it bit him on that play but he was mostly solid on the night. Defensively, he led the team in interceptions (3), made two clearances, and blocked a shot. Schlegel led the team in passing accuracy (97.3%) and completed all three of his attempted long balls. He also attempted one shot that was on target.

D/MF, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, 5.5 — This grade may seem a bit weird to some, but it’s kind of a split rating. At fullback, it was a tough night for the Icelandic import. Yeboah’s pace and the movement of the Crew’s forwards off the ball created issues for him. He kept the Crew onside for Julian Gressel’s opening goal, getting out of alignment with his back line teammates. He also got beat for pace on well-timed runs on long through balls, although there’s not much one can do about their pace. When he moved to the midfield, he helped the Lions climb back into the game. Defensively, he recorded one tackle, two interceptions, and a team-high three clearances. His passing rate was good (86%) and he completed his lone attempted long ball.

MF, Cesar Araujo, 6.5 — It was another solid night from the Uruguayan. Araujo drew a team-high four fouls on the opposition, helped gum up the middle against a lethal opposing attack, and did well to connect the back line to the attackers. His passing was a solid 85.4% and he recorded a pair of key passes. He recorded one clearance as well. Araujo doesn’t get a lot of accolades, but he simply plays solidly every night.

MF, Felipe, 6.5 — The Brazilian was a surprise starter on the night but he played well and even picked up his first assist as a Lion — the secondary helper on Orlando City’s first goal. His pass sent Ivan Angulo down the right and it led to Martin Ojeda’s tying goal early in the second half, making it 1-1 at the time. Felipe helped glue the lines together, passing at an 87.1% rate, contributing a key pass, and completing two of his three long balls. He recorded two tackles, only committed one foul, and drew one from the Crew. Oscar Pareja sacrificed him in the 57th minute to send Facundo Torres on.

MF, Ivan Angulo, 6 — It might seem harsh to hand Angulo a 6 when he recorded three key passes, including an assist, and used his speed to track back well to help out primarily on Dagur Dan’s side. However, too many transition opportunities were wrecked on the night due to a misplaced pass by the speedy winger. One good example was his overweighted ball that could have sent Ojeda in on goal but instead forced the Argentine to sprint hard to the end line and send it directly at the goalkeeper from a tough angle. Angulo took one off-target shot, passed at a 79.2% rate — the lowest percentage of all midfielders — completed one of his two crosses and was inaccurate on his lone through-ball attempt. Defensively, he chipped in a tackle and an interception.

MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6 — The captain was solid, if unspectacular, starting in the attacking midfield, then cycling to the No. 8 spot in the second half. He lost the ball too often with two unstable touches and he was dispossessed twice. He did not attempt a shot and completed 83.3% of his passes, one of his two crosses, and one of his two long balls, while recording one key pass. He chipped in a tackle and a clearance defensively, committing two fouls while not drawing one. The captain sent a fantastic ball forward that led (eventually) to Torres’ goal in the 73rd minute. Pereyra came off in the 80th minute for Michael Halliday, which moved Thorhallsson into the midfield.

MF, Martin Ojeda, 8 — With Torres dealing with a leg contusion, Ojeda got a rare start and he made the most of it. He scored Orlando City’s first goal, picked up the primary assist on the second, and delivered the service that led to the third and fourth. Ojeda contributed a team-high five key passes, put one of his two shots on target, and passed at an 87.5% rate, completing all three of his long balls and two of his team-high eight crosses. He even contributed a clearance on the defensive end. On another night, Ojeda could easily be our Man of the Match.

F, Ramiro Enrique, 8.5 (MotM) — It was a spectacular performance for the young Argentine, who filled in for Duncan McGuire after the rookie picked up a knock late in training and was held out as a precaution. Enrique tied the match in the 86th minute and won it in the 97th. He also picked up a secondary assist on Torres’ goal. Enrique put all three of his shots on frame, and would have had a hat trick had his point-blank shot not been right down the middle, where it made for an easier save for Patrick Schulte. He drew three fouls on the Crew, won a team-high three aerials, and contributed three clearances on the defensive end. His passing rate of 79.2% doesn’t catch the eye, but that’s fairly high for a forward. If Enrique can build some consistencey off of this performance, the Lions won’t miss the depth that Ercan Kara provided behind McGuire throughout the year. Hopefully, the yellow card Enrique picked up for taking off his shirt during his celebration of the winning goal won’t come back to haunt him, as it was his third of the season.

Substitutes

MF, Facundo Torres (57′), 8 — Torres replaced Felipe as Orlando City had fallen behind by a goal and Orlando City needed a spark. Boy did the Uruguayan provide one. The game changed noticeably once Torres took the pitch and within a couple of minutes, he’d already attempted two shots, although one of those was off target and the other blocked. Despite playing less than half the game, Torres led Orlando in shots (5), putting two on target. His exellent finish in the 73rd minute gave the Lions new life, and he recorded an assist on the game winner, ducking low to head Ojeda’s free kick cross back across the box and into Enrique’s path. The Uruguayan passed at just a 66.7% rate without attempting a cross or a long ball. Despite assisting on the game-winning goal, he was not credited with a key pass. Like Ojeda, on another night, Torres would have my Man of the Match vote. There’s a strong argument, as his presence changed the match.

D, Luca Petrasso (70′), 5.5 — The Canadian came on for Santos and did well to generally help put out fires on his side, although he didn’t provide much going forward. He didn’t pass particularly well (57.1% on just seven attempts), but did block a couple of crosses. He contributed a tackle and a clearance.

F, Jack Lynn (70′), 5 — OCB’s leading goal scorer came on for Angulo as the Lions were hunting goals to get back into the game. He figured in Torres’ goal, pulling a defender wide, which provided room for Enrique to collect the ball, starting the goal sequence. Lynn only managed two touches, winning two aerial balls. He completed one of his two passes.

D, Michael Halliday (80′), N/A — The American youth international came on to provide some coverage on Yeboah’s side to guard against the counter while Orlando pushed to tie — and then win — the game. He managed 10 touches, won an aerial, passed at a 71.4% rate, and recorded an interception.


That’s how I saw the individual performances on Saturday night as Orlando City climbed into second place in the Eastern Conference. What did I get right/wrong in your view? Be sure to vote for your Man of the Match in our poll below and provide your thoughts in the comments section.

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1 Comment

  1. Hoganisme

    September 18, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    I thought Ojeda was the MOTM. He scored. He gave up a very clean shot to pass to Torres for a score. His free kicks and corners were beautiful.
    I won’t argue about Enrique. He filled big shoes and has a nose for the ball.
    We don’t have a big team. We won’t score with heads above the crossbar, but knock the ball to the ground inside the six-yard box and quick feet will do the rest.

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 9/18/23

Enrique’s great day, Pride upset the Courage, USMNT players abroad, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Jeremy Reper

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers. I was feeling a bit under the weather starting Saturday afternoon, but that huge comeback win definitely helped. I was starting to feel better by Sunday afternoon, but by the end of the Pride match I was right as rain. Winning really does make everything better. Let’s get to the links.

Enrique’s Very Good, Not Bad Day

Ramiro Enrique was already a hero for scoring the equalizer in the 86th minute against the visiting Columbus Crew. It wasn’t enough for the young striker, as he earned a free kick close enough to goal to give Orlando City the opportunity to win the match. That still wasn’t enough for Enrique, so he decided to score the winner. If you somehow forgot what it looked like, please enjoy watching it over and over again.

Oscar Pareja said he was proud of his team and confident that the Lions could not only earn a draw but actually win in the last 15 minutes of the match. That belief was held by the players as well. Enrique experienced a moment of pure joy after scoring the winner — you can see it in his celebration — though he was most happy for the three points. Mauricio Pereyra said he is just proud to be the captain of this team. I think it is safe to say that after that result we’re all proud of this team.

Orlando Pride Stun Courage

Two first-half goals were enough to give the Orlando Pride a rare 2-1 win against the North Carolina Courage and in September. Neither of those things have historically come easy for the Pride, but given the fact that Ally Watt scoring the earliest goal in Pride history set the right tone for the evening. The win moved the the Pride into seventh place and — just as importantly — only one spot out of the playoffs. The Pride will be in action next on Oct. 2 at Angel City. If you missed our recap late last night, click the link above and enjoy Sean Rollins’ description of the match.

How USMNT Players Fared Abroad

Folarin Balogun went right from scoring a goal for the USMNT to scoring a goal for AS Monaco in a 2-2 draw with Lorient. Balogun came on as a sub and provided the equalizer for his new club. The USMNT striker is red hot, as is Ricardo Pepi, which makes Gregg Berhalter’s choice difficult going forward. Weston McKennie made his 100th appearance for Juventus and provided an assist in a 3-1 win over Lazio. Much like he did for the USMNT, McKennie played an excellent match.

English Premier League Highlights

Manchester City and Liverpool each scored three goals to win easily against West Ham United and Wolves, respectively. The two top four clubs earned easy, controversy-free victories. However, both Tottenham and Arsenal won, but they did not do so easily or without controversy.

Everton is not good. The Toffees are sitting in the relegation zone with zero wins and only one draw so far this season. Despite that, it took Arsenal until the 69th minute to score the only goal of the match to get the win. It was even harder for Tottenham, given it took two second-half, stoppage-time goals to defeat Sheffield United. United manager Paul Heckingbottom was furious with the officiating.

Free Kicks

  • Do you think you can play in most pick-up soccer matches? You almost certainly cannot make the cut for this one in Manchester, England. The players were once paid to play, though they now pay to play — they play a whopping £5.
  • FIFA President Gianni Infantino attended the Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday. AT&T Stadium is a possible venue for the next World Cup. Does anyone else think — and I say this as a Cowboys fan — that this was a meeting of the sports equivalent of the Legion of Doom?
  • Never mind that, this is the actual Axis of Evil. I can’t believe I’m giving Atlanta United credit, but this was well done at Inter Miami’s expense.

Check back with The Mane Land as we get you ready for the midweek match Wednesday against New York City FC. That will do it for today other than one plea to the Orlando City front office and the Wilf family: please give Oscar Pareja, Luiz Muzzi, and Ricardo Moreira new contracts. Vamos Orlando!

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Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew: Five Takeaways

Here are the five biggest takeaways from a completely bonkers win over the Columbus Crew.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Jeremy Reper

I can’t quite believe what I witnessed Saturday night. Orlando City erased a two-goal deficit in the final 15 minutes to overcome the Columbus Crew with essentially the last kick of the game. The Lions were 4-3 winners in a match they looked down and out of, and now have sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference.

What follows are my five takeaways on a match that I’m still struggling to get my head around.

Defensive Issues Dig a Hole

The Lions were up against it almost immediately. While the first Columbus goal didn’t arrive until the 16th minute, the suffocating press that the Crew deployed made it feel like just a matter of time. Sure enough, Diego Rossi’s chipped ball over the back line found Cucho Hernandez, who in turn lobbed Pedro Gallese, which allowed Julian Gressel to slot the ball into the empty net. The defense did not look settled in this one, and the Crew’s second goal in particular was an absolute horror show that the right side of the line won’t enjoy seeing on film. Granted, the Crew are a good team and some of their movement patterns aren’t things that the Lions have seen a ton of, but with two weeks to prepare for this game it simply had to be better.

Gallese Stands Tall

Fortunately, Orlando City owns a get-out-of-jail-free card in the form of Pedro Gallese. El Pulpo was beaten three times on the night but frankly was blameless on all of the goals. Things could have gotten much worse right before halftime but he made a fantastic pair of saves to deny Yaw Yeboah and then Hernandez after the rebound from Yeboah made its way to the Colombian’s feet. He made several other stops throughout the night to help keep the scoreline from getting too out of hand, and was generally a massive presence when it came to keeping a disorganized back line from falling to pieces. He makes this team that much harder to beat and hasn’t missed a beat since being on international duty with Peru.

In Praise of Felipe

I’ll be the first person to hold my hand up and say that I haven’t been the biggest fan of Felipe for most of this season. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why he got the nod next to Cesar Araujo instead of Junior Urso, but I was happy to be proven wrong. His stats weren’t eye-watering as he finished with two tackles, a foul committed, a foul drawn, an assist, and a key pass while delivering his passes with 87% accuracy, but for me this was his best game in an Orlando City shirt by a country mile. He looked extremely comfortable and at ease, whereas in some of his substitute appearances he’s struggled to adapt to the pace of the match when coming on. I want to talk about the key pass though. That sweet, sweet key pass. His chipped ball sprayed out wide that sprung Ivan Angulo and led to Martin Ojeda’s goal was a thing of pure beauty, and I could watch it over and over. He was sacrificed for Facundo Torres with Orlando chasing the game, but it certainly wasn’t because he put a bad shift in. Bravo, and I’ll happily eat my words on this one.

Facu Lights the Fire

Speaking of Facu, my word does he make a difference for this team. The fans know it, the team knows it — hell, people walking around on Central Avenue might have been able to feel the shift in the game when he came on. The team immediately not just looked, but also felt more dangerous, and it wasn’t an accident that he found space almost instantly and got a shot away. Other guys, like Ojeda and Ramiro Enrique had as good as or more statistically impressive nights, with a goal and an assist and a brace and an assist, respectively, and they absolutely deserve their flowers. But Facu coming into the game immediately shifted things and the Lions kicked into a higher gear. If he can figure out some semblance of a weak foot, then good luck trying to contain him.

Cat’s Won’t Quit

The shift in the game that occurred when Torres came on made it all the more discouraging when Hernandez scored what looked to be the dagger in the 68th minute. A 3-1 deficit simply seemed like too tall of a task, and the air well and truly went out of Exploria Stadium. Credit the Lions’ resilience and mental fortitude though. They found an answer through Torres just five minutes later and were right back in it all of a sudden. When Enrique equalized you could practically feel the belief oozing out of both the players and the fans alike. Orlando City just doesn’t know when to give up and doesn’t seem to have an ounce of quit up and down the entire roster. It’s truly something to behold, and the number of gritty, hard-fought wins from this season is beginning to get difficult to keep track of. At this point, I don’t know when, if ever, I’d feel comfortable counting OCSC out.


I’ve been lucky enough to witness some truly memorable games from these Lions. Some personal favorites include the first game back with a full stadium in 2021, which resulted in a weather-delayed 5-0 beatdown of the San Jose Earthquakes, the 3-2 win over Atlanta courtesy of a late Nani header, and pretty much the entirety of last year’s run to the U.S. Open Cup. But man, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything like that.

With as hopeless as the game looked, only for things to build the way they did over the final 15 minutes and culminate with a winner on practically the last kick of the game? Plus, considering the stakes with an eye-wateringly tight race at the top of the East? The sheer delirium and bedlam that was unleashed where I was in The Wall was otherworldly and nigh incomparable. Hell, I’m writing this at 1:30 a.m. after getting home from the match and I’m still wide awake. Our Sean Rollins put it best: this was a “where were you when” game.

Those are my five big thoughts from a match that will surely go down as an all-timer in Orlando City history. Be sure to share your thoughts on this one down in the comments. Vamos Orlando!

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Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew: Final Score 4-3 as Lions’ Comeback Extends Unbeaten Run to Six

Down 3-1 late, the Lions rallied with a trio of late goals to stun the Crew in a wild finish at Exploria Stadium.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Jeremy Reper

Orlando City scored three straight goals from the 73rd minute on to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 win over the Columbus Crew in front of an announced crowd of 22,802 Exploria Stadium. The Lions (14-6-8, 50 points) made numerous mistakes against the high-scoring Crew (13-9-6, 45 points), paying for most of them, but Facundo Torres’ goal off the bench and Ramiro Enrique’s late brace led Orlando City to another Cardiac Cats-type finish.

Martin Ojeda also scored for the Lions, who managed to overcome goals by Julian Gressel, Diego Rossi, and Cucho Hernandez. The win extended Orlando City’s unbeaten run in league play to six matches (5-0-1) and lengthened the team’s home unbeaten run in all competitions to 11 matches (7-0-4).

“Today was another demonstration of the character of this group,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said after the match. “And I want to honor that responsibility and that desire to overcome. It’s not easy to score goals when things don’t look good, and after (the Crew made it) 3-1, the team believed in the process, believed in the ways, and we kept the mentality intact.”

Pareja’s lineup had a few surprises. Pedro Gallese took his usual spot in goal behind a back line of Rafael Santos, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, and Dagur Dan Thorhallsson. With Wilder Cartagena suspended, Pareja opted to pair Felipe in central midfield with Cesar Araujo rather than Junior Urso behind an attacking line of Ivan Angulo, Mauricio Pereyra, and Ojeda, with Ramiro Enrique up top. Duncan McGuire picked up a knock in training late in the week and did not dress, while Torres was away on international duty and started the game on the bench.

The Crew got the first shot of the game five minutes in when Rossi went for goal from a tight angle. Gallese had to be alert to fight it off for a corner kick. A minute later, Gallese again had to fight off a shot from his right as Yaw Yeboah smashed a laser toward goal.

The visitors took the corner short and the Lions stole the ball and should have scored in transition. Columbus goalkeeper Patrick Schulte was well outside of his box when Angulo got onto the ball at midfield. Rather than trying for the open net from distance, he took a touch, which allowed the keeper to scramble back. Angulo’s subsequent pass on the break for Thorhallsson was badly off line and the attack evaporated.

Santos tried a shot from long range in the 12th minute but it fizzed just wide of the right post.

Four minutes later, the Crew opened the scoring after an Orlando turnover in its own end. Pereyra and Araujo looked at each other on a pass between the two but neither went for it, allowing the Crew to collect. Rossi chipped a ball over the top for Hernandez’s run and Thorhallsson was caught out of line with his defensive teammates, keeping the play onside. That left Gallese alone against Hernandez, who calmly chipped him to feed Gressel in front for the tap-in.

Orlando was sloppy throughout the first half, often placing passes between two teammates who weren’t sure who the pass was supposed to go to. That sloppiness nearly allowed the Crew to quickly double the lead. Yeboah smashed a shot just wide of the near post after another such turnover in the defensive end.

The Lions should have equalized in the 26th minute. A good transition attack ended up with Angulo down the right. The winger sent a good pass into the middle to Enrique, but he fired his shot low and in the center of the net, which was the only place Schulte could have gotten to it, and he did. The save preserved the Columbus advantage.

Orlando again fashioned a good chance in transition in the 34th minute but this time Angulo overcooked his pass toward the end line for Ojeda. The Argentine fired a shot/cross in front of goal that hit Schulte, deflected off another body and went right back to the goalkeeper.

Gallese came up huge in the 42nd minute to keep his team in the game. Thorhallsson got beaten badly and Yeboah was in alone. Gallese denied his shot and the rebound found Hernandez, who fired with his first touch but it was right at Gallese, who managed to stop it with his legs without givine up a rebound.

That was the last good look of the half for either team and the Crew took a 1-0 lead into the break.

Orlando City held the halftime advantage in possession (54.4%-45.6%) and passing accuracy (85.4%-81.9%), while the Crew had more shots (9-4), shots on target (6-1), and corners (3-2).

The Lions equalized just three minutes after the restart. Angulo got the ball on the right side of the box and fed it across from right to left. It found its way through to Ojeda, who quickly turned and sent it in with his right foot to make it 1-1 in the 48th minute.

Columbus got back on the front foot after Ojeda’s goal. The visitors were getting to almost every loose ball and working their way through the Orlando defense with good passing sequences and even better movement off the ball that often caught the Lions off guard.

Rossi paid off that attacking play in the 56th minute, putting Columbus back on top. Yeboah played a through ball for Rossi’s crafty run in behind Schlegel and he slotted past Gallese to make it 2-1.

Pareja introduced Torres moments after his team fell behind for the second time. The Uruguayan had a leg contusion and Pareja didn’t expect to have his Designated Player available for this game but he was able to recover in time to make the matchday squad.

Despite the move to bring on Torres, who immediately made Orlando City a more dangerous-looking team with a couple of quick shot attempts, the Crew extended their lead less than 10 minutes later. The Crew attacked in transition and Santos was caught up the field. Alexandru Matan got in behind down the Crew’s right side and sent a centering pass to give Hernandez a tap-in. The Crew’s lead bulged to 3-1 at 68 minutes.

Pareja sent Jack Lynn and Luca Petrasso onto the field in the 70th minute for Angulo and Santos as the Lions desperately chased the game.

Orlando City pulled a goal back moments later. A beautiful long ball by Pereyra hit off Lynn and fell to Enrique, who finessed the ball through a Crew defender to Ojeda. The Argentine passed up a chance to shoot and sent it to Torres, who fired home to make it 3-2 in the 73rd minute with his 12th goal of the season.

Pareja made one more move, sending on Michael Halliday for Pereyra, moving Thorhallsson into the midfield. Halliday made an immediate impact, intercepting a pass and starting an Orlando City break. Aidan Morris made a perfect form tackle — American football style — to pick up a booking in order to break up the play.

Just a few minutes later, Torres was fouled by Crew defender Yevhen Cheberko about 25 yards out on the right side. Ojeda’s free kick hit off of Cheberko’s head, but instead of clearing it, his sideways header fell at Enrique’s feet. The MLS U22 Initiative forward slotted it past Schulte to level the score in the 86th minute.

“No matter the amount of hard work that you put in, the first objective always has to be to push the group further, to do whatever you can to help the group achieve the most they can and continue onward,” Enrique said of his role through a club interpreter. Whether you’re selected as a starter, off the bench, or even sometimes out of the group, you have to do whatever is in the best interest of the team to continue pushing them further and towards more success.”

As time wound down, the Crew managed to win multiple corner kicks but the visitors could not make them pay off. Referee Rubiel Vazquez tacked six extra minutes onto the 90 for one of the teams to find a winner. Orlando City took advantage of that, but it required a seventh minute.

With the seconds winding down, Orlando City won a free kick about 25 yards out near the left sideline. Ojeda took the free kick and sent a good cross into the box. The ball somehow missed a flying Schlegel attempt and Schulte’s charge off his line to try to punch it, but Torres was right behind him and went low to head the ball back across the box. Once again the ball fell at Enrique’s feet and he swept it home in the 97th minute to send Exploria Stadium into euphoria.

Enrique’s brace doubled his season total of goals from two to four.

“Just absolutely pure happiness,” Enrique said after the game, about what was going through his mind. “Happy to score the goals and I think, first and foremost happy for the three points.”

Columbus kicked off and the game was over with the Lions smashing and grabbing all three points.

The Crew turned around the possession numbers in the second half and led in most of the game’s statistical categories. Columbus held the advantage in possession (52.4%-47.6%), shots (15-14), shots on target (10-7), corners (9-2), and passing accuracy (85%-83.1%).

“I think Columbus is a great team. Today they dominated us in the beginning of the first half,” Pereyra said. “For us it was difficult to press them. But then, after, we showed personality. We showed desire and a winning mentality that we are having in the last 10 or 15 matches. I think we’ve improved a lot.”

“A lot of things to get better, but today it’s a good demonstration of this character, and we’re proud,” Pareja said.


The Lions will have a quick turnaround before playing away at New York City FC on Wednesday at Citi Field.

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