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ORLANDO, Fla. (June 29, 2022) - Orlando City SC punched its ticket to the semifinal round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night following a penalty kick shootout victory over visiting Nashville SC. The two sides were led into the shootout following a 1-1 result from both regulation and extra time, but an early Nashville miss and a final save by Pedro Gallese secured the 6-5 result.

After Nashville struck first in the match, the Lions found a stoppage-time equalizer through defender Rodrigo Schlegel, his second of the year across all competitions. Despite Nashville being reduced to 10 men in the first minute of extra time, neither side would break through in the additional 30 minutes. 

The Lions will host the New York Red Bulls on July 27 in the next round, a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff at Exploria Stadium. Orlando has secured home field advantage through the duration of its Open Cup run following US Soccer’s hosting rights draw last week. 

Information on tickets for the semifinal round will be announced in the near future. 

Head Coach Oscar Pareja:

“I’m very happy, obviously, with the victory and going to the semifinal with this group of players against a very good rival, with the possibility of advancing. It’s a very good step for us. Regarding the game, I didn’t think we played well the first half, at least 35 minutes where Nashville was much better than us. [They] created options. I think the game was generous with us keeping it at zero. But after the goal, I thought we reacted and I want to recognize that reaction from the players. I think they had the personality and patience to go through it. The guys who came on in the game also helped us tremendously today. Gave us energy, gave us some creativity too. Then at the end I thought we were very fair winners. The game was, as I said, first half for them and after that we leveled the game and then we started creating options and being ourselves. But it was a tremendous game and a very difficult one.”

Scoring Recap:

52’ Hany Mukhtar (Alex Muyl) - NSH 1, ORL 0

The visitors took the lead shortly after the halftime break, with Alex Muyl whipping in a cross from the right flank, finding Hany Mukhtar at the far post. Nashville’s No. 10 was able to extend his leg out just far enough to poke the ball into the back of the net. 

90+4’ Rodrigo Schlegel (Benji Michel) - ORL 1, NSH 1

The Lions netted the late equalizer with Mauricio Pereyra sending in a free kick from just outside the right edge of the area, finding the head of Benji Michel in the box. The City Homegrown was able to direct the ball back toward the six-yard box, where Rodrigo Schlegel was able to tap it in for the finish. 

Match Notes:

  • Rodrigo Schlegel scored his first Open Cup goal and his second of the year in all competitions.
  • Benji Michel notched his second assist of the campaign and his first in the nation’s oldest cup competition. 
  • Nashville was reduced to 10 men when Sean Davis was shown a second yellow card shortly after the start of extra time. 
  • Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese made his U.S. Open Cup debut with the start.
  • Entering as a 77th-minute substitute, defender Antonio Carlos made his first appearance at home since suffering an injury at Exploria Stadium on April 2. Antonio Carlos also converted one of Orlando’s shootout goals. 
  • Head Coach Oscar Pareja made three changes to his starting lineup from last Friday’s match at Cincinnati, with Robin Jansson, Mauricio Pereyra and Tesho Akidnele each getting the nod.
  • Orlando City remains unbeaten in penalty kick shootouts across all competitions in the MLS era, with a 7-0 record following Wednesday’s result. 

Next Match: Orlando City will return home to Exploria Stadium on Monday, July 4, hosting DC United in regular season play. The match will kickoff at 7 p.m. ET.