Recap: Orlando City SC vs. Columbus Crew SC 05/11/2020


Orlando City SC secured a top-four spot in the Eastern Conference with a spectacular 2-1 victory over Columbus Crew SC on Wednesday night at Exploria Stadium, securing a late winner from Benji Michel after going down to 10 men. As well as blocking a home game of the 2020 Audi MLS Cup playoffs for the Lions, the result knocked Columbus out of the Fan Shield contention.Michel’s effort came in the 84th minute on a long Mauricio Pereyra ball, the Homegrown forward bulldozing several Columbus defenders before blowing Eloy Room for the 2-1 lead.

The goal was made even more dramatic by Nani receiving a red card in the 52nd minute after a decision by Video Review. The Orlando DP took on a challenge with Artur, which prompted the extra look and slanted skin tone of the game.

With a man advantage, Columbus wasted little time finding an equalizer in the 56th minute thanks to Harrison Afful. The outside full-back went 1-1 with a left-footed rocket that passed Pedro Gallese.

Before the crazy second half, Orlando opened the scoring in the 27th minute thanks to Chris Mueller. The Lions winger collected a pass from Pereyra to the right side of the 18-yard box and picked the far corner to lead 1-0.

He got lost in the shuffle somewhat, but Orlando nearly doubled his advantage in the 30th minute, without Room’s incredible double save. He threw a Kyle Smith shot out first, then parried another Smith effort at second glance.


  • 27 ‘- ENT – Chris Mueller | WATCH
  • 56 ‘- CLB – Harrison Afful | WATCH
  • 84 ‘- ENT – Benji Michel | WATCH

Three things

  • THE BIG IMAGE: Orlando left late, but won a home playoff game in dramatic fashion after overcoming Nani’s red card in the second period. Considering Orlando missed out on the playoffs in his previous five seasons in MLS, it really puts into context the work Oscar Pareja did in his first year as a head coach. For Columbus, they are now out of the Supporters’ Shield race after leading for much of the season. They are still one of the best teams in the East, but now face the threat of losing a top four spot at NYCFC on decision day presented by AT&T.
  • TIME OF THE MATCH: Nani’s red card sparked a lot of controversy, not to mention outrage from Orlando players and supporters. This game had serious playoff implications, and the video review only added to the intrigue.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Mauricio Pereyra had two assists and pulled the strings for Orlando, especially in the first half before moving up to 10 men. The Uruguayan midfielder is set to miss his Decision Day game with a buildup of yellow cards, but his vision and tempo inject so much quality into Oscar Pareja’s squad.


  • ENT: Sunday, November 8 vs Nashville SC (3:30 p.m. ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN + in US; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)
  • club: Sunday, November 8 vs Atlanta United (3:30 p.m. ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN + in the US; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)


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