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2019 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Tesho Akindele (21')

Akindele scores lone goal as Orlando City blanks SKC

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Akindele the difference as Orlando beat Sporting KC (1:12)

Tesho Akindele scored his ninth goal of the season to help Orlando inch closer to a playoff position with a 1-0 win over Sporting KC. To watch more MLS, sign up for ESPN+. (1:12)

Tesho Akindele scored in the 21st minute, and Orlando City remained unbeaten over its last three games by holding on for a 1-0 victory on Wednesday against visiting Sporting Kansas City.

Orlando City (9-11-6) has also earned at least one point in six of its past eight MLS games. The Lions' 33 points are tied for seventh most in the Eastern Conference, even with the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC.

The MLS playoff field was expanded to seven teams from each conference, up from six teams last season.

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The defeat was yet another blow for Sporting KC (7-11-7, 28 points), which is toward the bottom of the Western Conference standings. The team lost its second consecutive game, has dropped four of its last five contests and is in danger of ending its run of eight consecutive playoff appearances.

The lone goal of the game came on a blistering right-footed shot from Akindele. Carlos Ascues rolled a centering feed near the penalty spot, and Akindele arrived from the left side to rip a shot past Sporting K.C. goalkeeper Tim Melia for his team-leading ninth goal of the season.

Orlando City forward Dom Dwyer took three shots in 74 minutes, but he still has not scored a goal in two career games against SKC, his team from 2012-17. Lions goalkeeper Brian Rowe made three saves in his seventh shutout of the season, two off his career best set with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2016.

Orlando City lost defender Kyle Smith in the 12th minute after his collision with Melia left him with a deep laceration above his right eye.

Sporting K.C. now has nine games remaining to collect the points it needs to become playoff-eligible. The team's next three games all are at home with contests against San Jose, Minnesota United FC and Houston. Only two of SKC's final six games are at home.

Orlando City has eight matches remaining, four at home, with the final three games against Houston, FC Cincinnati and Chicago, which are currently not in playoff position.

Major League Soccer Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 LAFC 30 +44 64
2 Seattle Sounders FC 31 +3 50
3 Minnesota United FC 30 +9 48
4 Real Salt Lake 30 +4 46
5 LA Galaxy 30 0 45
6 San Jose Earthquakes 30 +3 44
7 FC Dallas 31 +5 44
8 Portland Timbers 30 +1 43
9 Sporting Kansas City 30 -10 37
10 Colorado Rapids 31 -7 36
11 Houston Dynamo 30 -10 34
12 Vancouver Whitecaps 31 -22 30

Major League Soccer Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 New York City FC 30 +19 57
2 Philadelphia Union 30 +12 52
3 Atlanta United FC 30 +14 51
4 Toronto FC 31 +4 45
5 DC United 31 +2 45
6 New York Red Bulls 31 +3 44
7 New England Revolution 30 -7 40
8 Montreal Impact 31 -15 37
9 Chicago Fire 31 +5 37
10 Orlando City SC 31 -4 36
11 Columbus Crew SC 31 -9 34
12 FC Cincinnati 31 -44 21