Orlando, Florida — Orlando City SC were written off before the tournament began. In all fairness, the last few years haven’t been kind to the Lions. However, Orlando ended up becoming the biggest surprise of the MLS is Back Tournament.
At first glance of the Group A teams, many were already putting New York City FC as the first place winner. However, the tables have turned tremendously. Orlando is the number one team in Group A, which finished this evening. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Union sit in second place after drawing with Orlando tonight, 1-1.
Orlando is ahead due to goal differential, having two more scored in the group stage over Philadelphia.
Tonight, both teams found the back of the net. After a lackluster 45 minutes, the second half provided plenty of action. Philadelphia found themselves on the scoreboard first, courtesy of Ilsinho.
However, two minutes later, Orlando City bounced back. Mauricio Pereyra cooly slotted his header past Andre Blake. The shot was assisted by Nani, as the play happened inside the box.
Blake was busy throughout the night, making six saves. He denied Nani twice. Blake also stopped shots from Júnior Urso, Tesho Akindele and defender Antônio Carlos. Meanwhile, on the other end of the pitch, Pedro Gallese made three saves against Sergio Santos and Jamiro Monteiro.
As mentioned, due to goal differential, Orlando is the Group A winner, shocking many MLS is Back fans. New York City FC is sitting in third place, with a chance to be one of the four third-place teams to advance. Only three spots are open, due to Seattle clinching a playoff spot last night.
The goals from Orlando City SC and Philadelphia
59' 👉 Sub into the game
68' 👉 Score the opener
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 21, 2020
— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) July 21, 2020