Orlando 6 - 5 NYCFC: Orlando advanced New York returns home

di Stefano Bentivogli
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It was an incredible match ended in the worst way for New York City FC. Ready go and Nani brings Orlando ahead on a penalty. The response from New York was not long in coming and two minutes later Chanot's equalizer arrived. The start of the game looks promising, but the high expectations drop minute by minute. After the crackling start, Orlando City and NYCFC play trying not to concede a goal. It therefore ends up being a game with not many opportunities, blocked and nervous. Actually some chances are created, but Gallese and Johnson save their teams. In the final, the numerical superiority of the Blues is not exploited by Deila's team and therefore we go to extra time.

The two teams in extra time do not offer a great show. There is fear of taking the goal that would cost elimination. Penalties appear to be the ultimate goal of both teams.

Orlando City and NYCFC then play the playoffs on penalties. New York starts badly with Maxi Moralez hitting the crossbar. Orlando City does not miss even one, and so we arrive at the decisive penalty of Castellanos. Welsh parries him, Orlando passes the turn, the lions begin to celebrate but beware, the VAR intervenes. After a few minutes the decision: Gallese crossed the line, penalty invalid, yellow card to the goalkeeper, the second, and then expulsion.

But the best is yet to come. Pareja sends Rowe, the second goalkeeper, to replace Schlegel. The substitution is made, but the referee notices, and not after a short time, that Orlando has finished the changes available. Illegal substitution, Rowe returns to the bench and Schlegel, who is not a goalkeeper, must adapt and attempt to save the penalty to Castellanos. Here we are, Taty takes the penalty and scores. It goes on with the lottery of penalties. Johnson saves the penalty from Nani, Acevedo and Jansson score. It's up to Thórarinsson. The Blues player kicks him badly and Schlegel saves.

However, the embarrassment does not end there. Orlando cheers as if the game is over, but it's not. The referee calls everyone to order, the last penalty, the decisive one, has to be kicked. Michel makes no mistake and sends Orlando ahead in the playoffs. NYCFC comes home, and has a lot to recrminate.

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