Thursday, December 9, 2021

MLS: Orlando denied late play-off clinching winner, Philadelphia move second

SoccerNews in MLS 1 Nov 2021

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Orlando City were denied a late play-off clinching winner after being forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at home to Nashville in MLS on Sunday.

Alexandre Pato’s 94th-minute free-kick cannoned into the crossbar, with Andres Perea forcing home the rebound, ushering in scenes of celebrations as it would have sealed a post-season berth for Orlando.

That jubilation turned into frustration when the goal was later disallowed after referee Allen Chapman consulted the video, deeming Daryl Dike committed a foul on Alistair Johnston amid the goal-line scramble.

“It’s a very sad day for the league,” Orlando head coach Oscar Pareja said. “There is no explanation on a play that we saw evident. And it destroyed the joy of our people.”

United States international Dike had earlier opened the scoring in the 18th minute, before Hany Mukhtar levelled it up for Nashville eight minutes into the second half.

Orlando – fifth in the Eastern Conference – can still reach the play-offs if they beat Montreal on the final day of the season on Sunday, while Nashville are third.

Philadelphia Union moved above Nashville into second in the east with their routine 2-0 home victory over struggling FC Cincinnati.

The Union are ahead of Nashville on goal difference only, with strikes from Daniel Gazdag and Paxten Aaronson securing the win.

Cincinnati are eight points adrift at the foot of the table and have lost 11 games in a row and 14 of their past 15, while they have only one win in their past 24 games.

Elsewhere, Minnesota United stayed firmly in the play-off hunt thanks to a 2-1 home win over Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City.

Dominique Badji’s 58th-minute goal was enough for Colorado Rapids to edge Houston Dynamo 1-0, meaning they tied their club record for points in a season with 58.

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