ORLANDO – Orlando City SC (1-0-3, 6 points) battles to a 1-1 draw against rival New York City FC at Exploria Stadium on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 11,503 fans.
This week was the third week in a row where Nani rose to the occasion with a spectacular goal, which turned out to be the only goal of the day for the Lions.
In the 52nd minute, Nani blasted a shot from outside of the box into the upper right corner of the net. Mauricio Parera was given the assist. It was Mauricio’s first registered assist of the year.
Pedro Gallese was strong in goal, making three saves in the game. He had help in the 46th minute as Mauricio and Chris Mueller stood as a two man line for a free kick, and Mueller was able to block the shot by New York.
in the 76th minute, João Moutinho, who was subbed in for Chris Mueller, made a poor challenge in the box, giving the pigeons a penalty kick. Pedro Gallese guest left, the kick went right and we had a tie game.
This result was a huge disappointment to the whole Lions squad, as Oscar Pareja explains.
“Obviously it’s disappointing not to come up with the three points, which is what the fans deserve and what we worked for, but we played against a good team. New York has a game model that is not easy to play against. We made a change in the formation a couple of times and we really were consistent and solid in the way we had the initiative in the game. We walk [away] with a point again knowing that we could have had more, but we have to be humble. There’s things that need to be corrected for sure, moments where we need to decide the game in different areas, but we’ll take it.”
The Lions, and especially Nani, have shown a growing aggressiveness and confidence as the season progresses. Nani has scored in the last three Orlando matches, often with spectacular scores.
As Mauricio Pareyra gets back into form and Jao Moutinho does the same, last season’s surprise team will repeat to be a force in the MLS this season.
Orlando City heads to Washington next week to face DC United.