Us Open Cup Orlando City Vs Sacramento Republic Fc

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Orlando City won its first major trophy since the club joined Major League Soccer, defeating FC Sacramento Republic 3-0 at the Exploria Stadium and winning the right to the Lamar Hunt 2022 U.S. Open Cup. Facundo Torres scored two goals in the second half and set up a confident goal by Benji Michel that led the Lions to victory.

The Lions tried their best to knock down the California visitors, but eventually they made a mistake in the peril zone, and as soon as Torres secured the advantage, the Lions trampled the Republican gorges.

“I think it’s important to recognize that Orlando won its first title here, and we’re very proud of the community, the club, the fans, the players,” Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja said after winning his second USOC title as head coach. “And to have this chance to win this trophy means a lot against a very tough opponent.”

Pareja had Pedro Gallese on goal, and Joao Moutinho, Rodrigo Schlegel, Antonio Carlos and Ruan on the back line. Cesar Araujo played in the center of midfield with deep playmaker Mauricio Pereira behind the rude line of Ivan Angulo, Junior Urso and Torres, with Erkan Kara at the top.

The first half was nervous, choppy, playing back and forth, which was exactly what the guests wanted. Sacramento cleared the field, lost time if possible and played a body game, which was allowed by referee Rami Tushan. Pereira was knocked down several times in the first period without warning, and Angulo was removed during possession in the last third, and no calls were made. Logan even allowed Orlando to continue the game after the foul, and although the Lions lost the ball almost immediately, he did not return it for the foul.

None of the teams went to the opposite third of the field during the first five minutes. The first shot attempt of the match was made in the eighth minute, when Torres fired from outside the penalty area, but always hit above the crossbar.

A minute after, Jack Gurr sent the ball into the Orlando penalty area, but Gallese came out of his line and took it.

Orlando was at his best when he moved the ball quickly and accurately. In the 17th minute, Rouen received a pass into the penalty area for a corner, but took the lead at the last second. Three minutes after, the Lions practiced a long-range free kick that ended on Moutinho’s left. His center in the penalty area found Carlos’ head, but he could only direct it at the post. Kara was leading in the score, but the corner shot through her, and in the confusion the ball came out to hit the goal.

 

Sacramento’s best chance came in the 22nd minute when Pereira was knocked down without warning and the Republic took the lead in the transition. Maalik Foster landed a shot that went right out of bounds to Gallese’s left.
Torres had several more unsuccessful attempts to shoot through the segment, and half of them ended in a goalless draw.

Orlando finished the half with a lot of possession (55.7%-44.3%), shots (6-1, but neither side had a single shot on target), pass accuracy (84% -81.3%) and corners (1-0).

The second half started the same way as the first. Orlando was looking for a way to break through, but couldn’t muster enough sharp passes to disrupt what was essentially a 5-4-1 defense at times. In the second half, Sacramento won more standing balls, but Orlando was able to resist them.

The Lions kept pushing and got a chance on the transition in the 53rd minute, but Torres’ dismissal by Ruan was a bit heavy, and by the time the right-back appeared, he had to throw himself over the center and digest it.

Urso struck a shot that was blocked in the 63rd minute, and there were shouts of handball players, but none of them were struck. Urso followed his first shot, but on the second attempt he shot above the crossbar.

Sacramento’s best chance in the second half came in the 75th minute when the center found Douglas Martinez, who stood in front of Moutinho and sent the ball into the goal. Gallese was able to come forward and make a save.

After a few seconds, the Lions finally broke through.

Angulo won the ball on a corner under pressure, taking it away from Dan mattery. In the second half, Michel felt for the ball and found that Torres was punching at the top of the penalty area. The Uruguayan smashed it at home, making the score 1-0.

“I’ve been very happy with everything the guys have done up to this point, but when you play against world-class players, you make a mistake and you get punished,” Sacramento manager Mark Briggs said. “And, unfortunately, we learned the hard way.”

“They have a three-man defense that is very difficult to break,” Pareja said when asked about the decision to invite Michel. “We knew that Ercan would provide us with a presence on the field, but there was a moment in the game when we put (Michel) there because we needed to stretch the field. Benji gave us the opportunity to run behind and also help us with his presence. Erkan did a good job, but at that time we needed more energy. And I thought Benji had changed (the energy) a lot.”

Sacramento had to open up and continue playing at that time, and that helped the Lions find space and opportunities to transition. Michel was the first to get the ball over his head and raised it in the penalty area for a kick, but was knocked down and a penalty was awarded in the 79th minute. A minute after, Torres fired home from the point to double the lead.

“I am very happy with the results Facu has given us, especially over the last month and a half when we need him the most,” Pareja said of his designated young player. “I think those players who change matches and carry their teams on their shoulders are hard to find. We have already found it in Facu””

Torres had a good chance for his hat-trick in the 82nd minute, but shot inches wide of the right post.

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