Orlando City pulled off a dramatic comeback on Wednesday night, rallying from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Nashville SC. But while the Lions’ 93rd minute equalizer released celebrations up and down the Orlando bench, they wouldn’t have been there without their first goal, scored roughly 20 minutes earlier by one Daryl Dike.
It was Dike drawing a penalty, demanding the ball, and slamming it past Nashville keeper Joe Willis that got Orlando back in the game, and it earned the forward his second straight Heineken Man of the Match award.
Orlando was putting Nashville under sustained pressure down two goals in the 74th minute. Antonio Carlos, climbing much higher than his typical perch at center back, ended up on the touchline and played a looping ball into the penalty area for Dike. The big man bodied Nashville center back Jack Maher out of position, forcing Maher to wrap his arms around Dike and haul him down.
Dike immediately motioned for the ball and marched to the spot, patiently awaiting the VAR check on referee Drew Fischer’s ruling. With the call confirmed, Dike walloped his first career penalty kick beyond an outstretched Willis to get Orlando on the board. The veteran goalkeeper actually guessed correctly, but had no chance against the power of Dike.
Dike played all 90 minutes, finishing the night with the goal and two shots, both on target. He again led the team in duels contested with 11 and won three fouls, second in the side behind only Júnior Urso.