After waiting more than an hour to get on the field, Nani and Dom Dwyer combined to help lift Orlando City to a stirring 2-2 draw against New York City FC on Saturday at Orlando City Stadium.

The pair entered on either side of 69 minutes as subs following surprising omissions from the starting XI, then combined down the left to set up Tesho Akindele's 75th minute equalizer. That goal followed Chris Mueller's 59th-minute strike on a free kick to cut the deficit in half after the hosts trailed by two at halftime.

Ebenezer Ofori opened the scoring with a blistering low strike from distance and Alexander Ring doubled NYCFC's lead just before the break when he finished off a devastating pass from Cityzen debutant Alexandru Mitrita.


  • 13 - NYC - Ebenezer Ofori | WATCH
  • 45 - NYC - Alex Ring | WATCH
  • 59' - ORL - Chris Mueller | WATCH
  • 75' - ORL - Tesho Akindele | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Orlando City coach James O'Connor won only two league matches after taking over last season, and took a big risk and surprised everyone by opening 2019 with a squad that left out Nani, Dwyer and others. At halftime, it looked like appeared it had backfired, perhaps warming his seat in the process. Instead, his late star subs rescued a point.

    His debut as Orlando's newest
    Designated Player
    came later than nearly everyone at Orlando City Stadium would've expected, but when Nani finally made his entrance in the 70th minute, the roar that greeted the Portuguese former Manchester United star was deafening.

  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Dwyer was equally important as Nani in the buildup to the equalizer, and nearly created a chance for a go-ahead penalty kick, only for referee Baldomero Toledo to decide there was not a clear and obvious handball following a Video Review.

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