Daryl Dike, Benji Michel propel Orlando City to thrashing of Earthquakes

Daryl Dike, Benji Michel propel Orlando City to thrashing of Earthquakes

Major League Soccer

Daryl Dike, Benji Michel propel Orlando City to thrashing of Earthquakes

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Daryl Dike made his first start of the 2021 MLS season for Orlando City and did not disappoint in a lopsided victory for the Lions.

Dike scored twice, while with fellow forward Benji Michel added two goals of his own in a 5-0 romp over the visiting San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday night.

Fresh off a successful loan stint with English League Championship side Barnsley, Dike made an immediate impact in his first MLS start of the year, with a pair of goals to help the Lions to their fifth win of the season.

It was a fast start for Oscar Pareja’s side, which scored three goals in the opening half and looked dominant in the final third. Michel was hacked down by Florian Jungwirth in the sixth minute and Nani converted the penalty kick for his fifth goal of 2021.

Michel doubled the Lions advantage in the 16th minute, forcing his way into the box and chipping home a Chris Mueller pass past J.T. Marcinkowski. It was a deserved goal for Michel, who was lively from the opening whistle for Orlando City.

Mueller also tied the Orlando City all-time assist record with the 22nd assist of his career.

Dike extended the lead in the 31st minute, receiving a through ball pass from Nani after a Jackson Yueill giveaway, before rounding Marcinkowski and tapping into an empty net.

The U.S. Men’s National Team striker continued his impressive return to the starting lineup, heading home Nani’s free kick in the 49th minute. Dike powered his way into a good position before finishing past Marcinkowski for his second goal of the night.

Michel capped off the emphatic victory with a powerful strike past Marcinkowski in stoppage time. Tesho Akindele laid off a pass to his right allowing Michel to race into the box and hit a low drive into the middle of the goal.

Orlando City now sits two points back of Eastern Conference leaders New England for first place while San Jose is in eighth place in the Western Conference with 10 points total.

Man of the Match: Daryl Dike. Dike’s aggressiveness in the final third helped continue a strong night for the Lions attack, scoring twice and coming close to netting a few more goals as well.

Moment of the Match: Nani’s early penalty kick goal helped set the tone for a busy evening for the Lions attack, and the Portuguese playmaker also set up another goal later in the match.

Match to Forget: Florian Jungwirth didn’t help his team early in the match by conceding the penalty kick and overall struggled with Michel’s pace and Dike’s physicality in defense.

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