Rodrigo Schlegel scored in stoppage-time of regulation to send the Lions to extra time, and Pedro Gallese produced a game-winning save to lift Orlando City past Nashville SC 6-5 in penalties Wednesday night in the Quarterfinals of the 2022 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup at Exploria Stadium.
For Orlando, it will be their second straight Semifinal appearance as the club improves to 5-0 all-time in Open Cup matches decided by PK shootouts.
“Very happy with the victory and going to the semifinals with this group of players against a very good rival with the possibility of advancing,” said Orlando coach Oscar Pareja after the game.
“Regarding the game, I thought we didn’t play well in the first half, at least 35 minutes, Nashville was much better than us, created more options. But after the goal, I thought we reacted well and the players showed the personality to go through it.”
Hany Mukhtar opened the scoring in the 52nd minute after poking a ball sent in by Alex Muyl, but Schlegel’s goal four minutes into stoppage off a setpiece tied the game for the Lions to send the game to extra time.
Nashville went down a player in the 92nd minute of extra time after Sean Davis was issued a second yellow card for holding back Facundo Torres from a counter attack.
Despite the player advantage, the Lions weren’t able to make much of it.
Orlando did, however, turn it up a bit in the second half, finishing with 23 shots after the 120 minutes after a lackluster fist half.
Nashville dominated the first half, outshooting Orlando 6-1 which also included several saves from goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, who finished with fives saves.
In the 16th minute, the Peruvian keeper stopped Hany Mukhtar from striking from close. Moments later in the 26th minute, Gallese made back-to-back saves to stop chances from CJ Sapong and Mukhtar.
Orlando had an opportunity to find the opening goal in the 33rd minute when Facundo Torres connected with Mauricio Pereyra, who then crossed the ball to Tesho Akindele but the forward didn’t get there enough to finish the play.
Nashville again managed to find another chance in the 35th minute when Sapong beat Rodrigo Schlegel before taking a strike at goal but a diving Gallese was able to fend the ball away.
Up next, Orlando City hosts the New York Red Bulls on July 27 in the Semifinals of the Open Cup at Exploria Stadium.