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The Orlando City Lions (3-2-3, 11 points) were able to win their second straight home game thanks to a late goal from Nani in yesterday’s match against the Vancouver Whitecaps (1-2-5, 5 points).
“I thought Vancouver made it very difficult for us. I think at times we showed some decent passages, but I think we can play a little bit cleaner, a little bit crisper. It’s a massive win for us,” Orlando’s coach James O’Connor said after the match.
Orlando started the match with a lot of pressure against Vancouver. The Lions had 10 total shots compared to Vancouver’s 3; however, they were unable to find the back of the net in the first half.
Orlando started the second half with the same pressure of first and created two big opportunities in those first five minutes. The Whitecap’s attack was then able to create some chances, but none resulted in a goal.
In the 88th minute, Orlando’s Ruan Teixeira got the ball on the right side of the field and crossed it to Sacha Kljestan, who delivered a hard shot that deflected off Nani and into the net to give the Lions a late lead.
“Watching from the bench, I thought we were playing a little bit too slow with the ball; we needed a little bit more action in the box, and then, fortunately, the goal came that way,” said Klestan. “I think it was a cut-back cross from Ruan and I think we had three guys in the box and so it created a little bit of confusion in front of their back line, and fortunately, the ball ended up in the back of the net.
It was Nani’s fourth goal of the season and his third straight match with one. The match ended minutes later with a 1-0 victory by the Lions. Orlando City currently sits at 5th place in the Eastern Conference standings with 11 points.
Orlando City will play their next match at New York City FC on Saturday at 1 P.M, a rematch of their home opener.