1031matchrecapweb-Recovered

ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 31, 2021) - Orlando City SC (12-9-12, 48 points) battled to a 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon in the Club’s regular season home finale against Nashville SC (12-4-17, 53 points) at Exploria Stadium.

The Lions looked to have scored a stoppage-time game-winner off the foot of Andrés Perea following an Alexandre Pato free kick, but the goal was waived after VAR deemed a foul on the play prior to the finish. (WATCH | 1:18)

Daryl Dike scored the lone goal for City on the afternoon, his ninth of the campaign to set a new single-season best. Dike has now tallied a total of seven goal contributions through the Lions last eight matches, with six goals and an assist in that stretch. Chris Mueller and Nani each tallied an assist on Dike’s first half finish, the former notching his 24th as a Lion while the latter extended his own franchise record with his 26th.

City now travels to take on CF Montréal on Decision Day, Sunday, Nov. 7 at Stade Saputo. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET as the Lions look to clinch a berth in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for the second-consecutive year. 

Head Coach Oscar Pareja:

“First, we need to rest. There is not any explanation that comes even close to accepting the decision because that’s not going to be a result for us trying to make the players understand that it was a foul. We can’t get there, there’s no way to do that. We need to put it behind us. It will obviously take a certain amount of time, but I hope the boys can just shake it off and refocus on what is coming because that’s our responsibility. [We need to] have the courage and have the intensity, have the intention, have the desire that is going to get us over this hurdle. It’s what we need to do. I can’t tell you how disappointed the players are with what just happened. We’ll wait and let them absorb it first and tomorrow will be another day. Again, we’re soccer players, this is a beautiful sport and we have to move on and try to make things happen in Montréal.”

Scoring Recap:

18’ Daryl Dike (Chris Mueller, Nani) - ORL 1, NSH 0

The Lions took the lead with Nani threading a ball down the right side for Chris Mueller, who cut it back across the face of goal, taking a deflection before falling to the feet of Daryl Dike. The Lions’ front man hit it first time, slotting the ball in for the finish past Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis. 

53’ Hany Mukhtar (Randall Leal, C.J. Sapong) - ORL 1, NSH 1

The visitors answered shortly after the break with C.J. Sapong laying it off to Randall Leal, who played it first time through for Hany Mukhtar. The Nashville No. 10 dribbled into the area before sending his shot into the far post of the net.

Match Notes:

  • Daryl Dike scored his ninth goal of the season, setting a new single-season high in finishes after netting eight in his 2020 rookie campaign. With the finish, Dike has now recorded a goal contribution in seven of the side’s last eight contests. 
  • Chris Mueller notched his sixth assist of the season on Dike’s first-half finish, good for his 24th as a Lion.
  • Nani extended his franchise record in assists on the afternoon, notching his 26th as a Lion in all competitions with the secondary on Dike’s 18th-minute strike. 
  • Head Coach Oscar Pareja made two changes to his starting lineup for Sunday’s match, with Emmanuel Mas and Júnior Urso reentering the fold for the side. 

Next Match: City heads out on the road for a Decision Day fixture against CF Montréal on Sunday, Nov. 7 with kickoff set for 3:30 p.m. ET at Stade Saputo.