LAFC vs Orlando City SC – MLS is Back Tournament Quarterfinals
Orlando City SC bounced LAFC from the MLS is Back Tournament Friday night in the quarterfinals, continuing their fairytale run on to the semifinals.
The match turned out to be a fairly ugly and hard-fought contest, especially considering the recent form of LAFC up to this point in the tournament.
LAFC had a goal disallowed in the first half when a VAR review revealed Brian Rodriguez was offside. Orlando City then surely thought they were about to take the lead in the 57th minute when Nani stepped up to take a penalty, but Kenneth Vermeer came up with a massive save to keep the score level.
Minutes later Bradley Wright-Phillips found yet another goal in his scintillating tournament run with his new club to put LAFC up 1-0.
Despite the advantage, LAFC struggled throughout the game to generate the same flow in attack as they had demonstrated to this point in the MLS is Back Tournament. And defensively they lacked the tenacious hounding that confounded so many of their other opponents, either due to tired legs, a fear of Nani’s footwork breaking down their press, or some combination of both.
Regardless, the result was the same. LAFC were desperately clinging to their lead in the dying moments of the game when former LAFC defender Joao Moutinho rose up to meet Nani’s corner kick delivery to smash home the equalizer in stoppage time.
In accordance with MLS is Back Tournament rules, the teams went straight into a penalty shootout at the end of regulation. Jordan Harvey was the only player to miss, slamming his penalty off the crossbar. The teams exchanged made penalties until Nani stepped up fifth and calmly netted his to send Orlando on to the semifinals.