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2022 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Júnior Urso (56')
  • Facundo Torres (84' PEN)
  • Derrick Etienne (38')

Orlando City clinches final playoff spot with win over Columbus Crew

Facundo Torres converted a penalty kick in the 84th minute to rally Orlando City SC to a 2-1 victory over visiting Columbus Crew on the final day of the regular season Sunday to earn the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and eliminate the visitors.

Crew (10-8-6, 46 points) defender Milos Degenek was guilty of a handball on a shot by Benji Michel, verified by video review in the 83rd minute, and Torres put away his ninth goal of the season for Orlando (14-14-6, 48 points).

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The Crew would have qualified instead of Orlando if the match had ended in a tie.

Pedro Gallese saved a shot by Lucas Zelarayan in the fifth minute of stoppage time to preserve the season for Orlando.

Columbus entered the match tied in points with FC Cincinnati but was slotted in the seventh and final playoff spot because Cincinnati had more wins. Orlando was a point behind each.

Cincinnati defeated D.C. United, 5-2, to earn the fifth spot ahead Inter Miami.

Derrick Etienne Jr. gave Columbus the lead in the 38th minute before Junior Urso tied it in the 56th.

Etienne scored his ninth goal of the season but had to exit the match after being injured on the play. He made a run down the center of the penalty area and Lucas Zelarayan heeled him a pass. Etienne did the rest with a well-placed shot to the far post.

The goal came three minutes after Etienne combined with Cucho Hernandez in an attempt to get on the board first. Hernandez cracked a shot that was heading to the lower left corner, but Pedro Gallese made an outstanding stretch to push the strike out of harm's way.

Columbus had seven of the 10 shots and three of the four on goal in the first half.

The Crew's inability to extend the lead bit them when Urso took a feed from Mauricio Pereyra, spun from defender Jonathan Mensah and scored his fifth goal. Pereyra got his first assist in 15 games.