As Orlando City’s hunt for the playoffs hits its apex, the Lions will need the best from their top players. On Sunday night against the New England Revolution, they got it from their captain.
It was a vintage Nani performance, as the Portuguese scored Orlando’s first goal and drew the penalty for the second in a 2-2 draw with New England. Nani was voted Heineken Man of the Match for his performance.
Nani and the Lions spent the first half largely in control of the game, but were unable to score until the captain broke through in the 39th minute. Joao Moutinho sent a cross into the penalty area and Nani elevated to snap it past Matt Turner for the 1-0 lead.
Nani even added another iconic visual to his storied career, popping up to celebrate with a bloody nose. The goal was the captain’s 10th of the season, making him just the second player in club history, after Cyle Larin, to record multiple double-digit scoring seasons in MLS.
Early in the second half, Nani juked New England right back A.J. DeLaGarza in the box, earning Orlando City’s seventh penalty kick of the season. The captain signaled for someone to grab the ball and take it, and Daryl Dike obliged, scoring his seventh goal of the year to put City in the lead 2-0. Nani’s strong performance helped the Lions take a point against the 2021 Supporters’ Shield winners, in what would end in a 2-2- draw.