Friday, December 4, 2020

MLS: Nani´s Orlando clinch first play-off berth, Galaxy end skid

SoccerNews in MLS 19 Oct 2020

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Orlando City reached the MLS play-offs for the first time in their history, while Columbus Crew also clinched a spot in the post-season.

A last-gasp 1-1 draw against New York Red Bulls was enough for Orlando to secure a place in the MLS Cup play-offs on Sunday.

Orlando were stunned in stoppage time – Brian White’s 95th-minute equaliser cancelling out Nani’s 56th-minute penalty at Red Bull Arena.

But after Toronto edged Atlanta United 1-0, Orlando were assured of their first trip to the play-offs, having entered the league in 2015.

“We’ve put ourselves in a good position,” Orlando forward Daryl Dike said. “Obviously we just made the play-offs today, but I think we’re going to carry on. The goal wasn’t just playoffs. We’re not done now. We just keep going and keep going.

“We want three points every single game and we want to finish the highest in the table. That’s the main goal.”

Orlando – fourth in the Eastern Conference – are in the midst of a club-record 12-game unbeaten streak, per Stats Perform.

The Crew’s 3-1 win over New York City, coupled with Toronto’s triumph, sent the team back to the play-offs after missing out last season.

Columbus also snapped a four-match winless streak to move third in the east, two points ahead of Orlando and a point behind second-placed Philadelphia Union.

Elsewhere, LA Galaxy ended a six-game losing skid by topping Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 thanks to substitute Kai Koreniuk’s late winner.

Koreniuk became the first substitute to score for the Galaxy this season – the Los Angeles club were the only team without a goal from a substitute in 2020.

Los Angeles FC’s Christian Torres (16 years, six months and three days) became the youngest player to score in MLS since Sporting Kansas City’s Gianluca Busio (16 years, four months and 20 days) in 2018, according to Stats Perform.

Torres’ last-gasp equaliser earned LAFC a 1-1 draw at Western Conference high-flyers Portland Timbers.

Seattle Sounders drew 0-0 with San Jose Earthquakes, Houston Dynamo played out a 2-2 draw against Minnesota United and DC United beat FC Cincinnati 2-1.

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