Nani short over face - Playoffs - 2020

When Matt Polster barged over Daryl Dike inside the box, Orlando City SC had a chance to equalize from the penalty spot late in their Eastern Conference Semifinal against the New England Revolution.


And they had their star Designated Player Nani stepping to the spot.


But the former Manchester United winger was denied by a diving Matt Turner in the 74th minute, a critical moment in the Revs’ 3-1 victory at Exploria Stadium Sunday.

Nani scored from the spot against New York City FC in Round One, but missed his attempt during the epic shootout that sent the Lions through.


And the former Portuguese international doesn’t have the sterling record in PKs you might expect.


Since signing with Orlando before the start of the 2019 season, Nani has taken nine penalty kicks during regulation and made just five.


“It certainly hurt us after the fact and obviously we, as coaches, say that in that scenario, in that case we should put somebody else in charge,” Lions coach Oscar Pareja said after the match. “But Nani has had the personality, he has had the responsibility. We have trained and we have done it, and there is always three people who are in charge of taking the PK. In that moment he did it and we gave him the responsibility. It's something that now, obviously, we think maybe should have been different because what you mentioned, the stat and all these things. But Nani had the confidence from everybody.”


In his storied career, Nani has missed six of 16 attempts.


This season alone, Nani has taken four penalties ahead of Sunday’s match and Turner made sure to do his research on those attempts.


“Just doing the homework, just doing your due diligence beforehand, knowing the shooters, understanding their run-ups, knowing how long to wait, maybe some telltale signs of which way they're gonna go. It's all stuff you look at,” Turner said after the match. “On this particular one, you sort of do the homework, he's taken a lot of penalty kicks this year. So it's all like statistics, a bunch of stuff like that. But I picked my side early and I just went as hard as I could that way, made sure I kept my foot on the line and made the save, so it felt really nice."