NASHVILLE, TN – Orlando City SC played newcomer Nashville SC to a 1-1 draw Thursday night on it’s first visit to Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN.
Benji Michel scored his first regular season goal in the 17th minute for the Lions. Benji ripped his shot off of a touch pass from Maurcio Pereyra.
“I received the ball and I turned into the pocket.” Said Michel. “I tried to look for a pass and I saw no one so might as well just shoot it and see what happens. I was fortunate the ball went, it was a banger so top corner. I can’t complain and the way I was feeling was that finally I was able to score my first goal this year under my belt so that takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders.”
“I said it in the bubble when we tied Philadelphia and I found a group with pain and a feeling that they could have done much more.” Said Orlando Head Coach Oscar Pareja. “At the end it’s a good feeling because you recognize that your players are ambitious to come away and get three points and I think that they did play with that intention [today]. The first half was very good. The second half when we started in the first 10-15 minutes, I think they [Nashville] were more aggressive and got a couple chances in our third and they ended up scoring and that was the mistake that kept us from getting the three points today. But we’ll take it. This is a long journey, I’ve said it many times and the boys are proud and they will keep going and prepare for the next one.”
Nashville leveled the score right after the half time break when Mukhtar found Randall Leal running in behind the City defense, who hit it past City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese for the equalizer.
Interestingly, Pereyra has three assists this year, all against Nashville.
Also of note, Kamal Miller and Robinho each made their first starts of the season in the match.
Orlando City faces Atlanta United on September 5th at Exploria Stadium.