Orlando City SC 1, Columbus Crew SC 0 | 2019 MLS Match Recap

In a match where scoring chances were at a premium, Orlando City SC defeated Columbus Crew SC on their only shot on target with Benji Michel netting the late winner in Week 19 at Exploria Stadium.

Both teams prodded in the final quarter hour, but neither goalkeeper was tested by a single shot until Michel latched onto a whipped-in low Ruan cross, split a pair of Crew defenders and slammed home a first-time shot from the edge of the six-yard box for his first career MLS goal.

Harrison Afful finally put Crew SC’s first shot on frame two minutes from full time, a sizzling low attempt from distance. But goalkeeper Brian Rowe did well to dive to his right to parry it away.

Moments later, Afful picked out an open Gyasi Zardes at the six-yard box, but the US international couldn't put his downward header on target. Zardes also had the best chance of the first half, running onto a Pedro Santos cross and clipping a shot from 12 yards out that caromed off the crossbar in the 5th minute.

The Lions ended the match with 10 men when Dom Dwyer was sent off with a straight red card for elbowing Josh Williams in the face in the third minute of second-half stoppage time.

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Goals

  • 84’ — ORL — Benji Michel | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: For large chunks of the game, they were the second best team, looking every bit a team that played 120 minutes in a midweek penalty-kick shootout win over NYCFC in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals. But the Lions found that moment of magic to move above the playoff line. The Crew were punished again and lost a fifth straight and extended a winless streak to eight games.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Rowe had nothing to do for the first 88 minutes, but when finally called upon, he came up with this critical intervention.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: It’s all about Michel. The 21-year-old Homegrown forward earned his second consecutive start and rewarded James O’Connor’s confidence with his first MLS goal.

Next Up

  • ORL: Thursday, July 18 at Portland Timbers (10 PM ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, on DAZN in Canada)
  • CLB: Wednesday, July 17 at Chicago Fire (8 PM ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, on DAZN in Canada)

LIVE YOUR COLORS: Download the free MLS app - The official MLS app gets a major update for 2019, making it easier than ever to keep up with your favorite club, check standings, watch videos and much more.