Earlier this week, Orlando Metropolis star Daryl Dike made a assured promise: “If I’m up high, the objectives will come.”
The striker delivered on Saturday evening, netting a objective and aiding the game-winner to elevate the Lions to a 3-2 win over Columbus.
The Lions (10-4-8, 38) squashed a Columbus try at a comeback, extending their seven-game unbeaten streak to take care of their second-place spot within the Jap Convention desk.
Dike’s presence dominated the match, bullying by way of the Columbus backline to create a wealth of goal-scoring alternatives.
“I all the time attempt to be an issue for the opposite group,” Dike mentioned. “Anytime I can disrupt the middle backs, it frees up a person. … That’s one thing I delight myself in doing is having the ability to make these runs.”
The win additionally cemented coach Oscar Pareja into the membership’s report books because the winningest supervisor in Lions historical past, surpassing Jason Kreis with 23 profession wins.
The Lions took an early lead over Columbus after weeks of trying to kickstart their offense,
Dike opened scoring within the twenty sixth minute when Nani cleared a ball up the sphere into open area. The striker muscled down one defender, then danced between two extra earlier than clobbering his shot into the web.
The objective was Dike’s first since June after spending two months off the pitch for the Lions as a consequence of worldwide responsibility and a pair of accidents.
Silvester van der Water joined Dike on the scoresheet two minutes later, curling a ball from lengthy vary to skip previous keeper Eloy Room into the objective.
The primary half scoreline might have been doubled after a collection of squandered alternatives. Nonetheless, these two objectives felt enough sufficient for the Lions to win — till, fairly all of the sudden, they weren’t.
Hassle started for the Lions within the 52nd minute when an awry go within the field bounced off the pinnacle of Antonio Carlos and into the web for a uncommon personal objective. Two minutes later, Columbus striker Miguel Berry slipped into a niche within the field to web the equalizer.
“It was a troublesome second,” Pareja mentioned. “That second objective of theirs, it was a really troublesome second. … And that’s when the character, the togetherness and the glue that this group has got here out once more and took us over that hurdle.”
In a matter of minutes, the sport turned on its head, however Orlando Metropolis thwarted the ultimate step of the comeback.
After the equalizer, Dike paced at midfield, waving his arms on the crowd to encourage them to lift the amount within the stadium.
A swell of cheers from the stands was met by a surge of defensive vitality from Orlando Metropolis, which didn’t buckle below the Crew’s momentum. Columbus didn’t place one other shot on track after the equalizer.
Dike and midfielder Júnior Urso mixed within the 69th minute to clinch the victory. The sport-winner started in a second of chaos — Urso misplaced the ball on the high of the field, then stole it again to go to defender Ruan, who in flip fed Dike.
Relatively than turning to strive his personal shot, Dike chipped the ball again for Urso to run onto. Room didn’t even dive for the ball, his line of imaginative and prescient utterly obscured by Dike’s physique.
The objective helped the Lions dodge catastrophe, sustaining a continued streak of success because the group chases New England (16-4-4, 52) for the highest spot within the convention and league desk.
Saturday marked the primary match for keeper Adam Grinwis since tearing his ACL final August throughout a match for Sacramento Republic within the USL Championship.
With starter Pedro Gallese on worldwide responsibility and backup Mason Stajduhar injured, the keeper suited up for the Lions for the primary time since 2019. Grinwis made one save within the match to protect the win.
“The followers all through this my total profession actually have simply made me really feel at dwelling right here,” Grinwis mentioned. “They’ve supported our group after we weren’t in an excellent place after I performed right here earlier than. To be again right here now when the membership is in a significantly better place, to have their help regularly by way of the great occasions and the unhealthy, it simply means absolutely the world.”
After scoring the game-winner, Urso earned a one-game suspension after accumulating his fifth yellow card of the season. He’ll serve that suspension subsequent Friday when the Lions journey to Georgia to face long-time rival Atlanta United.