Martín Ojeda, one of the highlights of Orlando City's victory

Ojeda's decisive goal and impeccable performance rekindle Orlando City's MLS hopes
Orlando City SC v Toronto FC
Orlando City SC v Toronto FC / Harold Feng/GettyImages

Orlando City, who had been floundering in the MLS, managed to spring a surprise and revive the hopes of their fans with a sensational victory over Toronto FC. At their opponents' home, the Lions showed a strength that had not been seen for some time and turned the game around 2-1, the highlight being Martín Ojeda's brilliant goal.

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As early as the fifth minute, Toronto were already celebrating a goal that looked set to be another dark chapter for Orlando City. But then Ojeda came on and brought a new light to the match. In the 25th minute, Facundo Torres, with the ball at the top of the box, saw Iván Angulo strategically position himself. A perfect cross, and there was Ojeda to head with precision, sending the ball into the back of the net.

Ojeda, with his second goal of the 2024 MLS campaign and the ninth of his career with the Lions, contributed to a great result for the team, which is not just a number in the table. At a time when confidence was low, this result could be the fuel needed to reignite Orlando's flame in the competition.

After the match, Ojeda couldn't hide his happiness. "I think my first thought is just happiness, right? Happiness for the win tonight and for the effort the team put in. Of course, I'm happy about the goal I managed to convert, but I think even more so about this win that the team needed to get tonight and that we've worked so hard to achieve. So, all in all, I'm very happy with the game," he said. His words reflect not only personal joy, but a collective sense of relief that can be felt in every Lions fan.

And no wonder. Seeing the team react in this way, especially after an unfavorable start to the game, is proof that Orlando City has the potential to face any opponent on equal terms.
"I think when I saw Facundo Torres turn to the other side of the pitch, the opposite side to where I was, I knew I had to get into the box and that's what I was trying to do to make sure Duncan [McGuire] wasn't alone in the box. And then, when I saw Iván [Angulo] open in space and Facu played the ball to him, I knew that if I could get to the center, I would be in a very good place to make a play on the ball. And luckily Iván's cross was fantastic and he put it right on my head, where all I had to do was just make the movement towards the ball and luckily it went in," explained Ojeda, revealing the tactic behind the goal.

But it wasn't just attack. Orlando's defense, which has been criticized so many times, was solid and effective this time. The only shot on target allowed was Toronto's opening goal. The addition of Peruvians Pedro Gallese and Wilder Cartagena, fresh from the Copa America, gave the team a new lease of life. Gallese in goal and Cartagena in midfield were essential to maintaining control and holding off the opposition's pressure.

The win against Toronto not only brought three valuable points, but also renewed Orlando City's confidence. If the team can turn this grit and determination into a run of good results, it could well change the course of the season.