Orlando City Clinches First MLS Playoff Berth in Franchise History
By Orlando City SC // October 19, 2020
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Orlando City SC (8-2-8, 32 points) clinched a berth in the 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs on Sunday night, earning a 1-1 draw on the road against the New York Red Bulls (8-8-3, 27 points) at Red Bull Arena.
With Toronto defeating Atlanta later in the evening, the Lions earned their first playoff berth in Club history, coming in the midst of a Club-record 12-game unbeaten run.
Nani scored his fifth goal in regular-season action for the Lions in the match, converting from the penalty spot in the 56th minute to give City the lead. Brian Rowe started his third-straight match, registering three saves on the night to put his total through three games at 13.
Orlando City fans can find information about the 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs at Playoff Central presented by Orlando Health, available at the link here.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“That’s a good opportunity for me to recognize the effort and the desire and the passion that the players have for this Club and for their job and their team. I mentioned at the beginning that with some adversity, that every team faces at some point, we’re facing it now and the players kept doing a fantastic job on going away against a good team like New York Red Bulls. Losing two points in the last minute is something that magnifies what they’re doing. The boys are doing a good job, the guys that are coming into the lineup are responding well. Certainly today we are disappointed with losing those two points because we should have walked away with three for sure.”
56’ Nani (PK) – ORL 1, RBNY 0
The Lions took the lead after forward Daryl Dike was taken down driving into the box, drawing a penalty for the road side. City captain Luis Nani stepped up to the spot to convert, sending RBNY goalkeeper Ryan Meara the wrong way and hitting his strike to the left side of the net.
90+5’ Brian White (Jason Pendant) – ORL 1, RBNY 1
The Red Bulls leveled late following a corner kick, with the Lions unable to clear it before the ball bounced back into the area, finding the foot of Brian White who hit it into the bottom left corner for the finish.
– With the draw and a win by Toronto FC over Atlanta later in the evening, the Lions clinched their first playoff berth in Club history.
– With the result, the Lions continued their unbeaten run with their 12th-consecutive positive result in MLS play, six of which have come on the road.
Nani scored his fifth goal of the year in the match, converting from the penalty spot for the first time this year in regular-season action to give the Lions the lead in the 56th minute.
– With the draw, City is unbeaten in its last two visits to Red Bull Arena.
– Head Coach Oscar Pareja utilized the same starting XI from the Lions’ previous match, the first time he has done so since the MLS is Back Tournament.
Next Match: The Lions will make the quick trip south to take on intrastate opposition Inter Miami CF on Saturday, Oct. 24 at Inter Miami CF Stadium, with that match set to kickoff at 3:30 p.m. ET.
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