NYCFC defender Alexander Callens (6) battles for position against Orlando City SC forward Ercan Kara (9). (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
Talles Magno could not have picked a better time to snap a personal scoreless streak.
He snapped a nine-game skid to break a 1-1 deadlock and lift New York City FC to a 2-1 victory over Orlando City SC at Red Bull Arena before a sparse crowd at Red Bull Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The result doubled the Cityzens’ (15-11-7, 52 points) pleasure. Not only did the win secure at least one home match in the MLS Cup Playoffs this month, but they moved past archrival Red Bulls (14-11-8, 50) into third place in the MLS Eastern Conference.
The sixth-place Lions, scrapping for a postseason berth, fell to 13-13-6 and remained at 45 points.
Magno, who set up NYCFC’s first goal, tallied his seventh goal in the 81st minute. Maxi Moralez’s nifty lead pass allowed Gabriel Pereira to bolt down the right flank. Pereira found Magno, who drilled it into the lower left corner.
— New York City Football Club (@NYCFC) October 2, 2022
His last goal was six weeks ago, in a 3-2 loss at Inter Miami CF on Aug. 13.
A long throw-in by César Araújo led to Orlando City taking the lead in the 47th minute. Ercan Kara headed the throw-in to Facundo Torres slotted home with his right foot past goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
The Cityzens had a couple of frustrating opportunities before equalizing.
They thought that Tayvon Gray scored his first goal of the season, but the hosts were ruled to be offside in the 12th minute.
Second-half substitute Keaton Parks took City’s first shot on target in the 62nd minute that goalkeeper Pedro Gallese spilled. Callens gathered in the rebound on the left side of the box, but his shot from a tight angle sailed over the crossbar.
Callens, however, was on the mark in the 66th minute during a scramble in the penalty area. Talles Magno sent a short pass from the left side that the Peruvian international had an easy tap-in for a 1-1 tie.