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Amid missed chances, SKC, Orlando City end in tie

Apr 23, 2021; Kansas City, Kansas, USA; Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper John Pulskamp (1) blocks a shot by Orlando City defender Rodrigo Schlegel (15) at Children's Mercy Park. Mandatory Credit: Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 23, 2021; Kansas City, Kansas, USA; Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper John Pulskamp (1) blocks a shot by Orlando City defender Rodrigo Schlegel (15) at Children’s Mercy Park. Mandatory Credit: Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

Nani scored in the 79th minute to lift Orlando City SC into a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City Friday night in Kansas City. Both clubs had multiple scoring opportunities that went unfulfilled.

Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes couldn’t fully enjoy becoming the second man in MLS history to be a part of 600 MLS matches. He joined Jason Kreis, who played in 327 matches and coached 335 to lead all-time with 662 matches.

Vermes played in 209 matches, including his last three years with the Kansas City Wizards, the predecessor of Sporting Kansas City. He has been the manager of Sporting KC since 2009, and he managed his 391st match with the club Friday night.

There were plenty of balls finding the back of the net, but only two counted.

Orlando City controlled much of the possession in the second half, going several minutes without letting the ball past the midfield stripe. But they couldn’t capitalize until Nani’s goal with about 10 minutes remaining.

Sporting appeared to get on the board early when Nicolas Isimat-Mirin collected a deflection in front of Orlando City keeper Pedro Gallese in the 13th minute, but he was ruled offside after video review.

Orlando had its own opportunity pulled back because of an offside ruling. Benji Michel gathered a deflection off SKC keeper John Pulskamp, but the flag was up.

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Sporting KC finally grabbed the lead when Gianluca Busio fired one past Gallese through a crowd in the 45th minute. Daniel Salloi found Busio in a crowd just inside the box, and Busio found the back of the net.

Orlando City appeared to draw even in the 49th minute as Andres Perea right-footed a shot from the left side of the box. But a video review disallowed the goal because he was ruled offside.

An offside flag first negated Nani’s goal, but this time a review reversed the call. Nani back-heeled it in from close range, the first goal of the season for Orlando City.

–Field Level Media