Soccer-Orlando seal MLS playoff victory after keeper sent off in bizarre shootout

22 Nov 2020 / 13:13 H.

    Nov 22 (Reuters) - Orlando City had their goalkeeper sent off in a bizarre penalty shootout but still beat New York City 6-5 on Saturday to advance to the conference semi-finals in a match marked by confusion and two false endings.

    After a 1-1 score in regular time, Orlando goalkeeper Pedro Gallese saved New York's fifth spot kick from Valentin Castellanos to give them what they thought was a 4-3 win.

    However, referee Allen Chapman ruled the kick be retaken as the Peruvian keeper was not on his line, an automatic yellow card for Gallese and his second for the match, meaning a send-off.

    Orlando tried to bring on backup goalkeeper Brian Rowe but before the penalty was retaken were told they had already made all their substitutions, leaving defender Rodrigo Schlegel to don the keeper's shirt and gloves.

    Schlegel couldn't stop Castellanos' effort but made a save in sudden death to spark wild celebrations for a second time when Chapman blew the final whistle.

    However, the referee soon realised his error as the score was still 5-5 and asked Orlando to take their next spot kick, which Benji Michel converted for the winning goal.

    "I never had such an experience during a game, even an important game like that," Orlando's Portuguese winger and former Manchester United star Nani said.

    Orlando coach Oscar Pareja was not too happy on the sidelines during the 15 minutes of drama but said later he could only laugh after an "insane" night.

    "I think we'll need more time to calm down and reflect on what happened tonight," he told reporters after Orlando's first ever playoff victory.

    "What just happened at the end, I never saw it before. And this is the beauty of this game - that we're humans and full of emotions and mistakes and good things and all of that." (Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru)

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