ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Benji Michel’s goal in a second penalty shootout and a late save by a reserve defender summoned to play goalie helped send Orlando City into the MLS Eastern Conference semifinals with a wild 1-1 (6-5) victory over NYCFC on Saturday.
No. 4 seed Orlando next plays Nov. 29 against top-seeded Philadelphia or No. 8 New England.READ MORE: Pfizer: COVID Vaccine Booster Appears To Protect Against Omicron Variant
Orlando thought it had won at the end of the first penalty shootout when goalkeeper Pedro Gallese turned away NYCFC’s fifth penalty kick. But during the team’s brief celebration, officials ruled Gallese left his line early, drawing his second yellow card. Gallese then drew a red card when he disputed the call.
Referees concluded Orlando backup goalie Brian Rowe was ineligible, which forced it to bring in reserve center back Rodrigo Schlegel in net. Orlando briefly lost track of the penalty kick count and thought it had won after Schlegel turned away NYCFC and started celebrating. Michel then came on to end it.
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Orlando scored in the fifth minute on a penalty kick from Nani, the result of a hand ball in the penalty area against NYCFC’s Anton Tinnerholm.
Three minutes later, Maxime Chanot tied it on a header off a corner kick from Jesús Medina.
Gallese helped keep it even in the first half with four saves. At the 43rd minute, Gallese stretched for saves to deny Valentín Castellanos and Keaton Parks seconds apart.MORE NEWS: NYPD Pulls 2,000 Body Cameras After One Catches Fire
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