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Incredible MLS penalty shootout as Orlando City outfield player goes in goal to make crucial save

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 21/11/2020 Malik Ouzia

Orlando City kept their MLS playoff hopes alive in incredible fashion after an outfield player was forced to go in goal during their bonkers penalty shootout win over New York City FC – and made the crucial sudden-death save.  

After the game had finished 1-1, a remarkable sequence of events ensued. Orlando thought they had secured a 4-3 shootout win when goalkeeper Pedro Gallese saved New York’s Valentin Castellanos’ spot-kick, but their celebrations were eventually halted after officials decided Gallese had strayed off his line.  

The ‘keeper, who had already been booked, was shown a second yellow card for the offence. Orlando then attempted to bring on substitute goalkeeper Brian Rowe in his place, but the laws of the game only allow for a goalkeeper to be substituted during a shootout because of injury, and in any case, Orlando had already used all five permitted changes.  

That led to defender Rodrigo Schlegel taking the gloves and Castellanos converted his retaken penalty – a full nine minutes after his original effort – to keep the tie alive, before former Manchester United man Nani missed Orlando’s fifth spot-kick, forcing sudden death.  

Both sides’ sixth takers converted before Schlegel brilliantly kept out Gudmundur Thorarinsson. The drama was not done there, though, with Orlando mistakenly celebrating victory when in fact their own seventh taker, Benji Michel, was yet to take his penalty.  

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After order had been restored, Michel stepped up to finally seal the win and send Orlando into the Eastern Conference semi-finals.  

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