ORLANDO, Fla. (Nov. 21, 2020) - Orlando City SC earned its first postseason victory in Club history on Saturday afternoon, defeating NYCFC in a penalty shootout in Round One of the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs at Exploria Stadium.
After the match finished in a 1-1 deadlock after 120 minutes, with the Lions forced to play a man down from the 87th minute of regulation, the two sides were forced into a penalty shootout. What followed was arguably the wildest ending to a match, with defender Rodrigo Schlegel denying NYCFC defender Gudmundur Thórainsson from the penalty spot, as he was forced to serve in net for the Lions after Pedro Gallese was sent off with his second yellow card of the match for encroachment. Gallese was carded after making what looked like the game-winning save in the fifth round. Homegrown Benji Michel then stepped up to the spot to convert the winning shot for the Lions to send the sold out, limited-capacity crowd into a frenzy.
Nani scored the lone goal for City in regulation, converting from the penalty spot in the fifth minute of play before being answered three minutes later by Maxime Chanot off an NYCFC set piece. The goal served as the first postseason goal in Club history and the ninth for the Lions’ captain across all competitions in the calendar year.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“I think we need more time to calm down and reflect on what happened tonight. The analysis of the game, it may wait for tomorrow when we can analyze the soccer side. What just happened at the end, I never saw it before and this is the beauty of this game that we’re humans and full of emotions and mistakes and good things and all of that. Today, the ball bounced our way, well deserved. The boys showed today the heart of this franchise. They showed all of that intensity and sacrifice, after we lost Ruan and also what happened in the PKs and just bouncing back from that from what just happened and all those things. The people in the stadium telling us how much we miss them in our games, telling us that this sport is beautiful. Obviously we need to make many corrections and many things that happened in that last part, but we are proud to represent this community. We are proud to win and beat one of the best teams in Major League Soccer with 10 men on the field, multiplying themselves for this team. That made me very proud. We will prepare for the next game because this doesn’t stop, but what happened today I will keep in my memory forever.”
5’ Nani (PK) - ORL 1, NYC 0
The Lions opened the scoring early after Nani drew a penalty in the box before stepping up to the spot and converting in front of The Wall to give City an early lead.
8’ Maxime Chanot - ORL 1, NYC 1
The visitors answered quickly, with a corner from Jesús Medina finding the head of Maxime Chanot in the box for the finish.
- The Lions earned their first playoff victory in Club history in the first postseason match of their MLS tenure to move onto the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday, Nov. 29.
- Defender Rodrigo Schlegel became the first field player to play in net for the Lions in Club history, serving as the goalkeeper for the last two rounds of the penalty shootout before denying Gudmundur Thórainsson to help seal the victory.
- Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese matched a season-high with six saves in the match.
- Nani scored the first postseason goal in Club history in the fourth minute, serving also as his first playoff goal in MLS play. The finish served as the ninth across all competitions for the City captain this season.
- Midfielder Uri Rosell returned to the lineup for the first time since Sept. 5 against Atlanta United, earning the start in the match.
Next Match: The Lions will face the winner of the New England/Philadelphia Union match on Sunday, Nov. 29 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs.
ORL - Nani (PK) 5’
NYC - Maxime Chanot (Jesús Medina) 8’
Penalty Kick Summary:
NYC - Maxi Moralez (Missed)
ORL - Tesho Akindele (Goal)
NYC - Jesús Medina (Goal)
ORL - Andrés Perea (Goal)
NYC - Tony Rocha (Goal)
ORL - Antônio Carlos (Goal)
NYC - Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (Goal)
ORL - Júnior Urso (Goal)
NYC - Valentín Castellanos (Goal)
ORL - Nani (Saved)
NYC - Nicolás Acevedo (Goal)
ORL - Robin Jansson (Goal)
NYC - Gudmundur Thórainsson (Saved)
ORL - Benji Michel (Goal)
NYC - Valentín Castellanos (Yellow Card) 70’
ORL - Antonio Carlos (Yellow Card) 71’
ORL - Ruan (Yellow Card) 77’
ORL - Ruan (Red Card) 87’
NYC - Gary Mackay-Steven (Yellow Card) 88’
ORL - Robin Jansson (Yellow Card) 90+4’
ORL - Andrés Perea (Yellow Card) 90+6’
ORL - Pedro Gallese (Yellow Card) 103’
NYC - Sebastien Ibeagha (Yellow Card) 120+2’
ORL - Pedro Gallese (Second Yellow Card) SO
ORL - Pedro Gallese (Red Card) SO
Orlando City SC - GK Pedro Gallese; D Kyle Smith (Rodrigo Schlegel 101’), Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, Ruan; M Chris Mueller (Kamal Miller 90+4’), Uri Rosell (Andrés Perea 83’), Júnior Urso, Mauricio Pereyra (Benji Michel 106’); F Nani ©, Daryl Dike (Tesho Akindele 83’)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Brian Rowe; D Alex De John; M Joey DeZart; F Matheus Aiás
New York City FC - GK Sean Johnson; D Ronald Matarrita (Gudmundur Thórainsson 115’), Alexander Callens (Joe Scally 120+1’), Maxime Chanot, Anton Tinnerholm (Sebastien Ibeagha 90+5’); M Alexander Ring © (Tony Rocha 115’), Keaton Parks (Nicolás Acevedo 90+5’), Gary Mackay-Steven (Ismael Tajouri-Shradi 90+5’), Maxi Moralez, Jesús Medina; F Valentín Castellanos
Substitutes Not Used: GK Brad Stuver; M Justin Haak, Juan Torres
Details of the Game:
Time: 12 p.m. ET
Date: November 21, 2020
ORL - 44.3%
NYC - 55.7%
ORL - 16
NYC - 26
ORL - 6
NYC - 2
ORL - 13
NYC - 15
ORL - 3
NYC - 11
Heineken Star of the Match: Pedro Gallese