Nashville SC became the first visiting team to win at Exploria Stadium in 2020 after getting two late goals in a 3-2 victory over Orlando City SC. Both teams had already long since secured their spots in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, but the win moved Nashville up to seventh place in the Eastern standings, while knocking Orlando down to fourth.
An exciting first half saw plenty of action from both sides, starting with Daryl Dike putting Orlando on the board early, going far post on Nashville SC goalkeeper Joe Willis with a clean strike just three minutes after the opening whistle. The rookie has been in fine form lately, scoring four goals in as many games. Dike almost got a second right before halftime, but was denied by Willis.
Nashville has been strong on set pieces all season and continued to be dangerous on Decision Day, with Daniel Lovitz leveling things up on a corner kick in the 20th minute. The ball was cleared out to Lovitz at the top of the 18-yard box and after his first shot was blocked, the left back had another go and blasted it past Orlando’s Brian Rowe from about 20 yards out.
After having his red card from the previous game rescinded, Nani not only featured in today’s game but scored the go-ahead goal for Orlando in the 61st minute. The captain stepped up for a set piece outside of the box and blasted it over the wall and into the upper 90 to give the Lions the lead with 30 minutes to go.
Nashville SC increased their pressure, but after Oscar Pareja made a couple of defensive subs, the home side looked like they were going to hold strong. Hany Mukhtar had other plans, though, subbing into the game in the 76th minute, then scoring a late goal with two minutes to go. Five minutes later, Jhonder Cádiz stunned the home side, adding a third and giving the expansion side all three points.
- 4' - ORL - Daryl Dike | WATCH
- 20' - NSH - Daniel Lovitz | WATCH
- 61' - ORL - Nani | WATCH
- 88' - NSH - Hany Mukhtar | WATCH
- 90'+3' - NSH - Jhonder Cádiz | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Nashville SC finish the season strong with a huge win in Orlando. The expansion side continue to be dangerous on set pieces and with only one loss in their last seven games, they go into the playoffs with some momentum. Orlando City SC drop a spot in the standings, but will still have a home game in Round 1 of the playoffs. Exploria Stadium has been a fortress for the Loons this season, so ending the season with a loss and giving up multiple goals isn’t ideal, but they'll surely have something to prove when the playoffs start later this month.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Hany Mukhtar's late-game equalizer gave his side a spark that ended up in Nashville SC not just getting one point, but winning the game.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Hany Mukhtar subbed in late in the game and had an immediate impact, contributing a goal and an assist for a massive win to finish the season.