The goal was solid, but the celebration that followed -- now, that was flipping good.
Duncan McGuire scored his first career goal in the second half Saturday, but it wasn't enough for Orlando City to stave off a late charge by D.C. United as the two sides settled for a 1-1 draw at Audi Field.
McGuire, the No. 6 overall pick in December's SuperDraft, deflected home his milestone marker in the 53rd minute after a long feed from Kyle Smith found a waiting Dagur Dan Thórhallsson, who headed it to the Creighton University alum for a tap-in. An elated McGuire memorialized the moment by doing a running cartwheel before finishing it with an acrobatic backflip.
GOAL: Duncan McGuire scores first career goal for Orlando City
“It's definitely something you dream of as a as a kid, so definitely, it's exactly what I thought it would be," McGuire said of the goal. "It was an unbelievable experience, and I hope it's the first of many.”
Though it seemed for a time that McGuire's strike -- the first non-penalty-kick goal for Orlando City through four contests in this young season -- would be the difference-maker, United's Christopher Durkin had other ideas. He responded in the 80th minute with a left-footed blast that sailed past Pedro Gallese for the equalizer.
The goal ended Gallese's season-opening clean-sheet streak at three matches, though if not for his heroics with a full-extension stop on Christian Benteke in the first half, the result may have looked much different for the Lions.
“We did expect the game in the second half to have more volume and more action in front of the net," Orlando City coach Oscar Pareja said. "We knew the defense from the first half would reveal some possibilities because we played with one more defender and one less attacker, but we wanted to have solidness. ... In the second half when we made the change of the model and we made the change of the personnel, we knew that this was going to surprise D.C. When that happened, I thought we looked much better.
"I think we had a couple more actions, we scored a goal and we accomplished that objective.”
SAVE: Pedro Gallese goes full extension to deny D.C. United
Orlando City (1-0-2, 5 points) finished with nine shots (four on target) to United's 16 (five on target). Smith received a yellow card for a hard foul in the 77th minute as did former Orlando City defender Ruan, who was rung up in the 87th.
The Lions return home Wednesday to face Liga MX side Tigres UANL as the two teams meet in the second leg of their Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 series at Exploria Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET on FS2 and TUDN.
The clubs played to a scoreless draw on Tuesday in Monterrey, Mexico, setting up a win-and-advance opportunity in Orlando. Tickets are available now by clicking here.