Junior Urso broke a 2-2 deadlock with just over 20 minutes remaining and Orlando City SC ran their unbeaten streak against MLS opponents to seven matches, beating the Columbus Crew 3-2 at Exploria Stadium on Saturday evening.
Join us for the regular-season finale at Lower.com Field on November 7 vs. Chicago Fire FC
The victory put Orlando at 38 points and in second place in the Eastern Conference by virtue of a tiebreak with Nashville SC. Columbus remains in eighth place, just outside the current playoff line.
Orlando sent a few warning shots the way of Columbus over the opening portions of the match but wasn't able to solve Crew goalkeeper Eloy Room. They found their breakthrough in the 26th minute as Daryl Dike capped a brilliant run with a perfect strike into the net to make it a 1-0 lead. Then in the 29th, Silvester van der Water doubled the margin as his cross from the right of the box skipped past Room as the Orlando lead grew to 2-0.
But Columbus saw a goal pulled back in the 52nd minute via an Orlando own goal as Antonio Carlos inadvertently headed the ball into his own net to make it a 2-1 scoreline. Then, in the 54th, the Crew pulled level. A Lucas Zelarayan entry pass was touched by Derrick Etienne Jr. to Miguel Berry, who chipped it past Adam Grinwis to tie it at 2-2.
Orlando, though, regained the lead in the 69th minute as a low, driven shot by Urso caught Room off guard as the hosts jumped ahead 3-2. They had a glorious chance to put the match away in the 84th minute as Tesho Akindele found himself one-on-one with Room but missed the target.
Despite a lively finish to the match, Columbus couldn't equalize again as Orlando saw out the win.