Orlando blanks Nashville again, advances to East semis
Posted on: 08 Nov, 2023 at 05:06 AM
Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
Ivan Angulo scored an early goal and Orlando City made it hold up while notching a 1-0 victory over host Nashville SC to clinch an Eastern Conference semifinals berth on Tuesday night.
Angulo's goal in the sixth minute was all the second-seeded Lions needed to win the second match of the best-of-three, first-round series. Orlando City also posted a 1-0 victory in the series opener at home on Oct. 30.
Orlando City will face either the Columbus Crew or Atlanta United in the East semifinals. Those two squads are tied 1-1 in their series.
Pedro Gallese recorded four saves for his second career postseason shutout, both coming in this series.
Orlando City continued their stellar road form. The Lions led the MLS in away points (31) and road victories (nine) in the regular season.
The Lions also have won six straight matches, with three victories coming against Nashville.
Seventh-seeded Nashville finishes the season by being shut out in six of its last seven matches.
Joe Willis made four saves for Nashville.
The Lions had a 16-10 edge in shots and placed five on target to Nashville's four.
Orlando City struck after a giveaway by Nashville's Dax McCarty that Angulo collected inside the top of the box.
Angulo decided to shoot with two defenders in his path, and his attempt hit the lower leg of Lukas MacNaughton and the ball floated over Willis and into the net.
The Lions had an opportunity to add on in the 37th minute, but Willis made the save on Angulo's right-footed blast.
Nashville nearly tied the score in the 38th minute. Daniel Lovitz took a right-footed shot that was saved by Gallese, and the rebound went to Hany Mukhtar, who put the ball into the net. However, the officials ruled that Mukhtar was offside and the goal was waved off.
In the 63rd minute, MacNaughton fired a right-footed shot from beyond the box that Gallese stopped at the right corner of the net.
Junior Urso had a close-range shot for the Lions in the 79th minute but lifted it over the net.
--Field Level Media