Jesus Medina scored a highlight-reel golazo in the 38th minute for NYCFC's lone goal, giving them a chance to claw their way back, but Akindele's close-range header nine minutes from full time would ensure the Lions a second straight victory to open the tournament after they topped Inter Miami CF 2-1 in their opener.
Mueller put the Lions on top shortly after kickoff, cashing home a sliding volley off a pinpoint free kick delivery from Joao Moutinho to give Orlando the lead in just the fourth minute.
Orlando doubled the lead just six minutes later, when Ruan sent in a cross that was headed by Dom Dwyer into the path of Mueller at the back post, allowing the 23-year-old winger to coolly take a couple of touches to set himself up and rifle home his second of the evening with a left-footed finish.
Medina found NYCFC's first in the 38th, however, chesting a feed from Heber down to himself at the top of the area and unleashing a screaming shot into the top corner that gave Orlando goalkeeper Pedro Gallese no chance, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
Valentin Castellanos narrowly missed an equalizer for NYC in the 77th minute off a rebound shot he put on frame, but Gallese made a highlight-reel diving save to preserve the lead.
- 4' - ORL - Chris Mueller | WATCH
- 10' - ORL - Chris Mueller | WATCH
- 38' - NYC - Jesus Medina | WATCH
- 81' - ORL - Tesho Akindele | WATCH
Man of the Match presented by Heineken
No need to overthink this one. Mueller's early goals gave Orlando a lead they would never relinquish, and he's making an early case for tournament MVP, as he's now got three goals in two games.
- THE BIG PICTURE: That makes two wins in two games for Orlando, which has now punched their ticket to the Knockout Stage. For NYCFC, it continues a difficult start to the season. They're now 0W-4L-0D in 2020, a surprising development considering they were touted by many to be an Eastern Conference contender coming into the season. They still have plenty of talent, but the Cityzens have some issues to iron out.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: He would've liked it to come in a winning effort, but Medina's goal was the best highlight of the match — an early challenger to Lucas Zelarayan for goal of the tournament so far.
- YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Medina's goal was actually NYCFC's first goal in league play this season after they were shut out in each of their first three games, and they certainly got the breakthrough goal in impressive fashion. While it didn't complete the comeback in this game, the hope for head coach Ronny Deila will be that it foreshadows increased output from his attack as the club looks to get on track.