Nani deflected Sacha Kljestan's 88th-minute shot beyond goalkeeper Zac MacMath and across the goal line, lifting Orlando City to a late but deserved 1-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday afternoon at Orlando City Stadium.
The goal, Nani's fourth to go with four assists, came on a steamy afternoon in which the hosts had peppered the visitors with 16 shots and held 61 percent of the possession.
But it was only the fourth effort on target for the Lions, who were frustrated at times by a resolute Vancouver defense and MacMath, who started in goal ahead of Maxime Crepeau for his first league work in nearly a year.
- 88' - ORL - Nani | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Two of Orlando's three victories have come in 1-0 matches, which has to do wonders for the confidence of James O'Connor's squad after prolonged struggles for much of the last calendar year, particularly on defense. Meanwhile, Marc dos Santos will face one of his tougher coaching jobs in keeping his group's morale up, especially given Vancouver will follow that heartbreaker with what is the longest return flight in MLS.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: At first Kljestan got credit for the goal. But even he knew it was Nani's deflection that ultimately beat MacMath, intentional or not.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Nani. It wasn't a dominant performance from the Portuguese star, but it was a persistent one, and he was ultimately the most active Orlando player on a day his side just needed to keep working.
Nani in #ORLvVAN:— Joga Bonito (@Jasoninho10) April 20, 2019
4 chances created
3 fouls won
2 aerials won
He didn't know much about Kljestan's shot deflecting in off him for the winning goal, but he's now scored in 3 straight games.#OCSC #TodosPortugal 🇵🇹🦁 pic.twitter.com/L38bxUvWon