Orlando City SC saw their 2021 Leagues Cup hopes end at the hands of Santos Laguna, as they fell 1-0 at Exploria Stadium in Thursday evening's quarterfinal match.

A goal from Juan Ferney Otero on the half-hour mark stood for the visitors, who booked a date with Seattle Sounders FC in next month's semifinal. Orlando's night ended on a doubly-sour note when Junior Urso was shown a red card following the final whistle after an altercation with the referee.

It was almost a dream start for Orlando, though, as Chris Mueller nearly put them up inside of 30 seconds only to be denied by a goal-line clearance. Santos Laguna had a massive chance of their own in the sixth minute following a poor giveaway by Junior Urso, but Mason Stajduhar made the resulting save on Otero and Orlando were let off.

The Liga MX and MLS teams exchanged a few chances throughout the opening 30 minutes but the match remained scoreless, with Ruan nearly breaking the deadlock if not for a missed header just before the half-hour mark.

Santos Laguna then took the lead in the 30th minute through Otero, who was given space to fire a bouncing near-post shot in front of Stajduhar that deflected off Orlando's goalkeeper for a 1-0 lead.

Orlando looked to equalize in the 48th minute and almost did so when Mauricio Pereyra's shot deflected out of bounds en route to goal. Then in the 64th minute, Nani let loose a strike from range that Gibran Lajud parried away, followed by a Benji Michel header from a Ruan pass that sailed out of play.

That exchange appeared to tilt momentum toward the Lions and Silvester van der Water's bid to do just that in the 81st minute from beyond the box missed its target.

Orlando failed to muster a meaningful chance in the closing minutes, letting the Liga MX side secure passage to the competition's next round.

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Goals

  • 30' - CSL - Juan Ferney Otero | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: It was certainly a first-choice lineup for Oscar Pareja, as the Lions don't play again until an August 18 visit to Nashville SC. They’ll rue missed first-half opportunities — none bigger than Mueller’s first-minute chance — as well as a second-half performance where they never really looked like leveling aside from a few brief spells. With Santos Laguna's win, three of four MLS sides succumbed to their Liga MX counterparts in the Leagues Cup quarterfinals, with Seattle MLS' lone representative in September’s semifinals.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Orlando City certainly won't have fond memories of this 30th-minute goal by Juan Ferney Otero, which wasn’t dealt with by Mason Stajduhar.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Juan Ferney Otero may have been good for a brace if not for an early save in the sixth minute following an Orlando giveaway. His goal was all Santos Laguna needed to advance.

Next Up

  • ORL: End of tournament
  • CSL: Tuesday, September 14 at Seattle Sounders FC | Leagues Cup Semifinal

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