Wednesday, September 22, 2021

MLS: Nani nets late winner to lift Orlando past Atlanta

SoccerNews in MLS 31 Jul 2021

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Former Manchester United winger Nani scored a last-gasp winner to lift Orlando City past Atlanta United 3-2 in the MLS on Friday.

The Portuguese got on the end of Dutchman Silvester van der Water’s 87th-minute cross for the winner which keeps Orlando in touch with Eastern Conference leaders New England.

Atlanta had taken a first-minute lead from Josef Martinez’s perfectly placed long-range effort, but Kyle Smith equalised on the stroke of half-time from Nani’s corner.

Marcelino Moreno restored United’s lead in the 66th minute with a stunning curling strike from outside of the box.

Orlando put together a fine team goal to square the game up in the 79th minute as van der Water headed in Benji Michel’s pass.

The Dutch substitute would then provide the pass for Nani’s decisive goal, which was his seventh strike of the season.

New York City stayed close behind Orlando in the Eastern Conference with their third consecutive win, a 4-1 victory over Columbus Crew.

City piled on the style, racing to a 2-0 half-time lead after strikes from Valentin Castellanos’s early header and Thiago’s chip.

Keaton Parks added a third with a deft 51st-minute touch, meaning it was the first time all season Columbus had conceded three goals in a game.

Santiago Rodriguez bundled in from close-range albeit requiring a VAR review, before Pedro Santos’ consolation penalty.

LA Galaxy, without Javier Hernandez, cruised past Portland Timbers 4-1 to solidify their grip on third in the west.

Malagasy midfielder Rayan Raveloson pulled off a spectacular overheard volley to open the scoring.

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