How critical were those three points considering the Lions snapped a five-match winless streak and moved into third place in a crowded Eastern Conference playoff race?
Was Daryl Dike's game-winner deep into second-half stoppage time the biggest goal of his Orlando career? And where did those sunglasses come from?
We’ll take these inquires point by point. First, to the significance of the win.
“At this time of the year, every single point matters and we tell each other every second of the game, every single play matters whether it be the first minute or the 90th minute,” Dke said. “You saw it from last game and you saw it from this game. We’re going to keep fighting until the whistle is blown in order to get the points we need.”
It was Dike’s sixth goal in 12 appearances this season and his third in the club’s last three games.
“What is happening is he’s refreshed after that long period where he was absent and then he came back and tried to readapt himself to the rhythm here,” Orlando head coach Oscar Pareja said. “Being in the summer, and with the national team as well, cost something to him. But now he’s very fresh, he’s focused on what he needs to do and that is rewarded for him for such a night like today, because his presence in the box is always important.”
Dike rose up to latch onto Chris Mueller's 97th-minute service before flashing his header inside the far post. It was his 14th career MLS goal, but was it the most important one?
“I think it was definitely one of the more important goals. In terms of momentum going, and of course getting the win and having been on the road for so many games in a row and being back in front of the fans,” Dike said. “Even though maybe people didn’t want it to be as close and exciting, making it exciting and scoring in the last minute in front of the fans is always a great experience. Of course, momentum going into these next games, coming off the back of three points before the international break is something that is well-needed.”
When Dike’s goal landed in the net, pandemonium ensued at Exploria Stadium. And at the end of a wild celebration by the corner flag, somehow Dike emerged wearing a pair of shades.
“I’m being honest, I have no idea where the sunglasses even came from,” Dike said. “Andres [Perea] just came up to me and held up the sunglasses and I was like, ‘Oh, ok, props’ and I put them on. I don’t know where he got them from, but it ended up on my face.”