Nashville SC qualifies for the semifinals of the Eastern Conference


Nashville SC has qualified for the Eastern Conference semifinals after a stunning 3-1 victory over Orlando City SC on Tuesday night.

The Tennessee-based team will now visit the Philadelphia Union on the 28th at Subaru Park.

This is the second season, in its second year in Major League Soccer, that Nashville reaches the semifinals of the conference.

A stoppage time goal from Jhonder Cádiz got Nashville SC to secure the victory even if the winners did not really kick off the match on the front foot. It was Orlando City who hit the floor and opened the scoring in the 14th minute after Daryl Dike nodded home a corner.

But before Orlando could celebrate, Nashville struck straight back. Hany Mukhtar’s first goal attempt took a deflection from midfielder Antônio Carlos, and bent into goal over a shocked Orlando goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 21st minute.

After Mukhtar’s equalizer, Orlando struggled to stay competitive. The visiting team withdrew to their own half of the field, which inspired Nashville to take control of the game.

Hany. Mukhtar. Tighten. ✌️

The man is on another level! #NSHvORL // @Audi #MLSCupPlayoffs

– Major League Soccer (@MLS) November 24, 2021

The German midfielder quickly doubled his result after picking up the ball deep into Orlando’s half of the field, woven through defenders to drive a low shot into the net. Mukhtar entered the MLS after the season as one of three league MVP finalists and worked to bolster his campaign with the fantastic performance on Tuesday night.

The goal made the fans furious when they chanted MVP in unison, which proved the importance of home-court advantages.

To secure the deal, Venezuelan striker Cádiz Antônio Carlos hit the ball in the second half stoppage time to end the match with a calm end in the net for 3-1.

Jhonder Cádiz seals it for #EveryoneN

– Major League Soccer (@MLS) November 24, 2021

Unfortunately, the defeat means the end of the road for Orlando City, who saw their campaign in 2021 have a disappointing end. After finishing the regular season in sixth place in the Eastern Conference table, the Florida-based side only made one appearance in the playoffs.

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