After falling behind four minutes into the match, Orlando City battled back with two goals from Cyle Larin to defeat the Impact, 2-1, in front of a loud crowd of 34,081 at Camping World Stadium.
Larin delivered both of the goals on assists from Kaká, who was one of the most lively players on the pitch for Orlando, playing arguably one of his best games of the season to get his team the crucial three points.
"We got a win tonight, and I think the confidence will set us up nicely for Wednesday," Head Coach Adrian Heath said after the match. "Considering how everybody has been doom and gloom around here for a week, 10 days, I think we'll have settled if we win on Wednesday. So maybe the demise of Orlando City is not as big as some people think."
The win snapped a six-game winless streak for Orlando City (3-3-5, 14 points), which captured its first win since the 4-1 victory over the Portland Timbers back in the first week of April.
The Impact (4-4-4, 16 points) wasted no time asserting themselves on the road, going up on the score sheet just four minutes into the match on a goal from early-season MVP candidate Ignacio Piatti, who shuffled around Rafael Ramos inside the penalty box, and took a shot with his right foot that deflected off of Servando Carrasco's foot and redirected around Joe Bendik for his eighth goal of the season.
Orlando played with frustration and a lack of urgency for much of the first half. The team struggled to gain any traction, saw two yellows, and two players leave with injuries in the first 41 minutes of the match.
Until the 42nd minute when the Lions' fortunes started to change.
On a free kick just about 10 yards outside of the penalty area, Kaká whipped in a ball that found Larin ahead of the near post, and he redirected it backwards past Even Bush for the equalizing goal moments before the halftime whistle.
The Lions showed a little more control and desire in the second 45 minutes, tilting the scales more in their favor as the half wore on. A hectic five-minute string of play early in the half saw Dominic Oduro's big chance on goal saved by Joe Bendik, who was one of the best players for Orlando City in this one. And moments later, Larin nearly put the Lions ahead on a breakaway chance after he beat the goalkeeper.
With nothing but the air to beat, Larin put a heavy touch on the ball and pushed his shot just inches wide from a near impossible angle, shooting the ball across the face of goal, ever so closely kissing the goal line as it floated by.
Two minutes later, in the 57th, Kaká's effort on goal was parried by Bush, and the rebound effort shot right through Larin's legs in front of goal, another golden opportunity missed by the sophomore striker.
Not another two minutes later, it looked like Kaká might have earned a penalty kick when he was taken down in the box by Montreal's Wandrille Lefevre. But the replay showed a perfect, clean tackle, and a good call by referee Mark Geiger to let play continue.
All of the drama finally came to a head in the 87th minute, when Larin broke the deadlock and sent the Camping World Stadium crowd into a frenzy. Julio Baptista, who entered the game for Adrian Winter in the 75th, chipped to Kaká, who crossed back to Larin. The Canadian knocked it in for his second goal of the night and sixth of the season.
The win is the Lions' second straight over Montreal, following a similar 2-1 scoreline in Orlando last October.
The club will be back at it again in just a few days' time when the Lions welcome the Philadelphia Union to town for a mid-week rematch after their 1-0 loss in Philadelphia earlier this season.