With their backs against the wall and no room left for error, Orlando City had to claw their way back to earn a 3-3 draw in a six-goal thriller with the New England Revolution on Saturday night at Exploria Stadium.
For the third game in a row, the Lions conceded inside the first 15 minutes of the match when Tesho Akindele knocked the ball into his own next, putting the Revs up 1-0 with an own goal in the 15th minute.
Orlando was quick to turn things around and put the ball in New England’s goal when Nani, for the second week in a row, scored to level the game with a goal in the 22nd minute to make it a 1-1 game. Mauricio Pereyra served in the corner kick to find the captain, who flicked the header on target past Matt Turner.
But New England scored twice in the final 10 minutes of the first half to take a 3-1 lead into the halftime break. Cristian Penilla put the Revs ahead in the 35th minute and Gustavo Bou doubled the lead in the 41st.
The Lions charged back quickly after halftime, pulling a goal back in the 47th minute, when Dom Dwyer flicked on a headed goal from a Nani cross, scoring his first goal since early July. And then Nani added his second of the night in the 54th minute to tie the game up at 3-3.
Both teams traded quality chances throughout the rest of the match, with New England coming up with a pair of big chances in the closing moments, but neither side could break through to find the three points.
- Orlando City heads to Texas next Saturday to take on the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium
- With two goals and an assist tonight, Nani broke the Orlando City record for combined goals and assists in a single season (12 goals, 9 assists).
- Dom Dwyer’s 47th-minute goal was his first since July 7 when he scored in a 2-2 draw at Philadelphia
- Mauricio Pereyra earned his first career MLS assist on Nani’s corner kick goal in the 22nd minute
Goal summary vs. New England Revolution
15′ – Tesho Akindele (Own Goal)
22′ – Nani (Orlando City)
35′ – Cristian Penilla (New England)
41′ – Gustavo Bou (New England)
47′ – Dom Dwyer (Orlando City)
54′ – Nani (Orlando City)
How the Lions lined up
Orlando City XI: Brian Rowe; Kyle Smith, Robin Jansson, Lamine Sané, Ruan; Cristian Higuita, Carlos Ascues (Sebas Mendez 57′), Mauricio Pereyra (Benji Michel, 45′); Nani (c), Tesho Akindele, Dom Dwyer (Santiago Patiño, 76′)
Orlando Bench: Greg Ranjitsingh, Kamal Miller, Will Johnson, Sacha Kljestan
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