CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tesho Akindele scored his first goal of the season and it came in the 89th minute off his own deflected shot to send Orlando City SC to a 2-1 victory over Charlotte FC on Sunday.
With the victory, the Lions jumped from ninth place to fifth and moved above the playoff line. Entering the day, six teams were within five points of each other fighting for a playoff spot.
Neither team scored until Ercan Kara connected for his team-high eighth goal of the season, giving Orlando City (10-10-6) a 1-0 lead in the 62nd minute.
McKinze Gaines pulled Charlotte (10-15-2) even four minutes later with his first goal this season.
Charlotte goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina got a hand on Akindele’s first shot on goal, but the ball bounced right back to him and his second shot was true.
Orlando City beat an expansion team on the road for the first time in its history after going 0-5-4 in its previous nine tries.
Pedro Gallese saved two shots for Orlando City. Kahlina finished with five saves for Charlotte.
In other team news, Orlando City announced that forward Alexandre Pato will undergo exploratory surgery on his right knee on Sept. 9 in his native Brazil. A recovery timeline for the 32-year-old is unknown.