Tesho Akindele scored the only goal in another impressive defensive performance from Orlando City, as the Lions recorded a 1-0 win over visiting Toronto FC on Saturday.
Orlando City (3-0-3, 12 points) is on the longest season-opening unbeaten streak in franchise history, thanks in large part to a strong defense that has allowed only two goals in six games played.
Toronto outshot Orlando by an 18-10 margin in the game, including a 6-5 margin in shots on goal.
Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese made five saves for his fourth shutout of the season. Through six games in the 2021 season, Gallese has already topped his total of three shutouts in his debut season with Orlando in 2020.
Gallese’s biggest test came six minutes into stoppage time, as he stopped dangerous shots from both Nick DeLeon and Yeferson Soteldo.
Toronto substitute Jacob Shaffelburg also had a tremendous chance to equalize in the 90th minute but his attempt went wide. An initial shot from Ayo Akinola was stopped by Gallese but Shaffelburg was all alone for the rebound opportunity.
Toronto FC (1-3-2, 5 points) was shut out for the second time this season.
In the 12th minute, Akindele collected his second goal. Silvester van der Water found space on the right side and fired a tremendous cross to the front of the net, where Akindele was in position for the close-range header.
Akindele was Orlando City’s most dangerous attacker of the game, threatening on two other quality scoring chances but missing the target on both occasions.
Van der Water made his first start since joining Orlando City on a transfer deal from Dutch club Heracles Almelo in February.
Jonathan Osorio played 55 minutes in his first start of the season. The midfielder seemed to be in discomfort when leaving the field — an ominous sign since Osorio missed Toronto’s previous three games with a leg injury.
Orlando City won for just the third time (3-8-2) in 13 all-time games against Toronto FC.
–Field Level Media
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