The Lions were close to securing three points on Sunday, but a Kacper Przybylko goal in the 90th minute prevented that as Orlando City played to a 2-2 draw against the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium.
“I’m very proud of the players, obviously not a great start to go down early on,” Orlando coach James O’Connor said. “In the first 20 minutes we found it difficult to get in the game but after that, I think we did manage to get a foothold of the game. I think the biggest thing that we’ve shown today is the grit and the level of character that the players showed was outstanding.”
“That’s the biggest thing that we can take from today; it’s the fight, the commitment, the grit that the guys showed tonight,” he added.
Marcos Fabian gave the Union (10-5-6, 36 points) the lead in the fourth minute, but Nani’s second-half substitution in the 64th minute for Shane O’Neill helped spark a comeback for Orlando.
In the 67th minute, a free-kick taken by Nani connected with Dom Dwyer, who headed the ball past Andre Blake for the 1-1 equalizer.
It was Dwyer’s first goal since May 19 when he scored during a 5-1 win against FC Cincinnati, and it was his seventh goal this season for the Lions.
Orlando (6-9-4, 22 points) scored the go-ahead goal in the 81st minute when Nani’s corner kick found Chris Mueller, who headed the ball on target, rebounding off Blake and landing in front of Santiago Patiño to pounce on the opportunity for his first MLS goal.
Kacper Przybylko tied the game, 2-2, in the 90th minute when he struck from close range past Brian Rowe.
The Union could have scored again in stoppage time when Jack Elliot’s header inside the box went on target, forcing Rowe to make a diving save.
The match on Sunday was originally scheduled to kick off a day prior, on Saturday, but severe weather postponed the match a day later.
Orlando City hosts New York City FC at Exploria Stadium in the quarterfinal of the U.S. Open Cup. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET.
4′ – Marcos Fabian assisted by Fafa Picault (Philadelphia Union)
67′ – Dom Dwyer assisted by Nani (Orlando City)
81′ – Santiago Patiño (Orlando City)
90′ – Kacper Przybylko assisted by Matt Real and Anthony Fontana (Philadelphia Union)
How the Lions lined up
Orlando City XI: Brian Rowe; Kyle Smith, Shane O’Neill, Alex De John, Kamal Miller, Danilo Acosta; Dillon Powers, Uri Rosell, Carlos Ascues, Benji Michel, Dom Dwyer (c).
Orlando Bench: Greg Ranjitsingh; Sebastian Mendez, Will Johnson, Chris Mueller, Santiago Patiño, Nani, Ruan.
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