Nani Scores in Third Straight Match; Lions Draw NYCFC 1-1

Recap NYCFC 2021

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 8, 2021) - Orlando City SC (1-0-3, 6 points) battled to a 1-1 draw against 2015 expansion rivals New York City FC (2-1-1, 7 points) on Saturday night at Exploria Stadium.

Nani scored his third goal in as many contests for the Lions in the match, curling in a strike from outside the area to give City the lead shortly after halftime. The visitors equalized, however, off a Valentín Castellanos penalty in what would serve as the final goal of the night.

Benji Michel registered his 50th appearance across all competitions for City in the match, while goalkeeper Pedro Gallese recorded three saves to put his total in all competitions at 80 in a Lions’ uniform. 

Head Coach Oscar Pareja:

“Obviously it’s disappointing not to come up with the three points, which is what the fans deserve and what we worked for, but we played against a good team. New York has a game model that is not easy to play against. We made a change in the formation a couple of times and we really were consistent and solid in the way we had the initiative in the game. We walk [away] with a point again knowing that we could have had more, but we have to be humble. There’s things that need to be corrected for sure, moments where we need to decide the game in different areas, but we’ll take it.”

Scoring Recap:

52’ Nani (Mauricio Pereyra) - ORL 1, NYC 0

City took the lead with Júnior Urso spearheading the attack, driving up the middle before finding Mauricio Pereyra at the edge of the area. Pereyra then laid it off to Nani to the left, who took a few touches before ripping a shot from outside the box into the right corner of the net.

77’ Valentín Castellanos (PK) - ORL 1, NYC 1

The visitors equalized from the penalty spot, with Valentín Castellanos converting on the attempt.

Match Notes:

  • Nani scored his third goal in as many contests for the Lions in the match, good for a team-high. 
  • Mauricio Pereyra registered his first goal contribution of the year on Nani’s 52nd minute finish, earning the assist. Pereyra led the Lions at that mark in 2020 with eight assists to his credit.
  • Benji Michel made his 50th appearance as a Lion across all competitions on the night, entering the match in the 71st minute for Tesho Akindele. 
  • Head Coach Oscar Pareja utilized the same starting lineup in consecutive matches for the first time this season, featuring the same XI from a week ago against FC Cincinnati.

Next Match: City heads out on the road to face D.C. United on Sunday, May 16 at Audi Field, with kickoff at 8 p.m. ET.

Scoring Summary:

ORL - Nani (Mauricio Pereyra) 52’

NYC - Valentín Castellanos (PK) 77’

Misconduct Summary:

ORL - Kyle Smith (Yellow Card) 34’

NYC - James Sands (Yellow Card) 64’


Orlando City SC - GK Pedro Gallese; D Kyle Smith, Rodrigo Schlegel, Antonio Carlos, Ruan (João Moutinho 46’); M Mauricio Pereyra (Andrés Perea 81’), Júnior Urso, Sebastián Méndez, Chris Mueller (Silvester van der Water 80’); F Nani ©, Tesho Akindele (Benji Michel 71’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Brandon Austin; D Rio Hope-Gund; M Joey DeZart; F Matheus Aiás, Alexander Alvarado

New York City FC - GK Sean Johnson ©; D Alexander Callens, James Sands, Maxime Chanot; M Nicolas Acevedo, Gudmundur Thórarinsson (Malte Amundsen 65’), Keaton Parks (Tony Rocha 90’), Andres Jasson (Ismael Tajouri-Shradi 65’), Anton Tinnerholm (Sebastien Ibeagha 74’); F Valentín Castellanos, Jesús Medina 

Substitutes Not Used: GK Luis Barraza; D Chris Gloster, Tayvon Gray, Vuk Latinovich; M Justin Haak

Details of the Game:

Time: 6 p.m. ET

Weather: Clear

Date: May 8, 2021

Attendance: 11,503



ORL - 57.1%

NYC - 42.9%


ORL - 11

NYC - 9


ORL - 3

NYC - 4


ORL - 13

NYC - 15


ORL - 5

NYC - 3

Heineken Man of the Match: Nani