Orlando City SC vs. Sacramento Republic FC – Football Match Report – September 7, 2022
Facundo Torres broke through with a 75th-minute goal then converted a penalty to hand Orlando City SC their first-ever trophy with a 3-0 win over Sacramento Republic in the US Open Cup final on Wednesday night .
Torres’ 80th-place penalty all but sealed it for the Lions, who hadn’t won a title since joining Major League Soccer in 2015. Orlando native Benji Michel added a goal in downtime.
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Sac Republic, which plays in the USL, was looking to become the second lower division club to win the Open Cup championship in a quarter of a century. The Rochester Rhinos won the title in 1999.
Torres’ first goal came from a pass from Michel, a local player signed before the 2019 season, with the Uruguayan’s goal prompting the sold-out crowd at the Exploria Stadium to chant “We want the cup!”
Michel was fouled in the penalty area to set up Torres’ penalty, then scored in the sixth minute of stoppage time.
Orlando City beat the New York Red Bulls 5-1 in the Open Cup semi-finals to advance to the title match.
Sacramento advanced 5-4 on penalties after a scoreless draw with Sporting Kansas City in the semifinals. The Republic also beat the San Jose Earthquakes and the LA Galaxy in the Open Cup en route to the final.
Before Wednesday night, the closest the Lions came to silverware was in 2020, when they were runners-up in the MLS is Back tournament. Orlando City became the first Florida team to win a major professional soccer trophy since 2001, when the Miami Fusion won the MLS Supporters’ Shield.
It was the 107th edition of the Open Cup, which has not been played for the past two years due to COVID-19.
The result earns Orlando a guaranteed spot in next season’s CONCACAF Champions League tournament.