Goals five minutes apart in the first overtime gave Orlando City a 2-1 win over the New England Revolution Wednesday at Exploria Stadium, sending the Lions to their fourth Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals appearance in seven years, their third in five years as an MLS club.
Homegrown Player Benji Michel's first professional goal in the 96th minute broke the deadlock when the 21-year-old Orlando native dummied a Carlos Ascues shot from the top of the box, then deftly steered the rebound into the corner before New England goalkeeper Matt Turner could reach it.
Orlando was fortunate to double its lead five minutes later, as a failed Ascues dribble fell to Tesho Akindele in the penalty area, and his almost reluctant, off-balance mis-hit deflected off of Andrew Farrell and rolled tantalizingly past the dive of a wrong-footed Turner.
New England pulled a late goal back on a header by Justin Rennicks for his first Revolution goal, and substitutes Juan Fernando Caicedo and Antonio Delamea both directed headers off target in the frantic final minutes.
The game only roared to life in the final 15 minutes of regulation when Orlando goalkeeper Adam Grinwis made a close-range kick save of a Teal Bunbury heel flick in the 75th minute. The chances came quickly after that, as New England's Caicedo and Orlando's Akindele both crashed shots off the post, and an 87th-minute Turner stop on Dillon Powers insured the game would reach extra time.
- 96' – ORL – Benji Michel | WATCH
- 101' – ORL – Tesho Akindele | WATCH
- 117' – NE – Justin Rennicks | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Both teams' best chance for a title in 2019 rested on this US Open Cup, and it's James O'Connor's team that is still alive – and hosting New York City FC in the quarterfinals – after finally finding, and taking, their chances. Orlando did lose Cristian Higuita and Powers to injuries, although their severity remains uncertain.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The Grinwis stop in the 75th minute kept Orlando alive, but it was the Revs' chance in the 79th minute that may loom largest on New England's list of regrets. Caicedo juggled around Lamine Sane and unleashed a shot from the top of the penalty area. With Grinwis beaten, it came back off the post and into the path of Teal Bunbury, last week's Open Cup hero in New England. Staring at an open net, Bunbury tried to hit the ball first time and scuffed it wide, opening the door for Orlando to reach – and thrive in – extra time.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Ascues. When Higuita limped off the field seemingly near tears late in the first half, Orlando were forced into an early change. But Ascues, playing in midfield, filled in ably and ultimately played a key role in both overtime tallies.
- ORL: Wed., June 26 at D.C. United (8 pm ET | ESPN+ in US; DAZN in Canada)
- NE: Wed., June 26 vs. Philadelphia Union (7 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; DAZN in Canada)