LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. –Nani scored two first-half goals and Orlando City SC secured their ticket to the MLS stimulus final with a 3-1 win over Minnesota United on Thursday night.
Orlando City SC will now cross swords with the Portland Timbers, who defeated the Philadelphia Union 2-1 in the other semi. The final will take place on Tuesday evening.
Mason Toye helped Minnesota United close the gap to 2-1 with his first goal of the campaign in the 83rd minute, but Orlando City SC fell behind with a Benji Michel goal in stoppage time in the second half.
Minnesota United player Chase Gasper had a scoring opportunity early in the game, but his shot went over the net for goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.
Nani allowed the Florida side to take the lead in the 36th minute, after he accepted a long ball from Robin Jansson. He broke away from defender Hassani Dotson before deceiving the vigilance of goalkeeper Tyler Miller. Some seven minutes later, the Portuguese doubled his team’s lead.
There was a bit of a scramble between the two teams in the 73rd minute, when a foul by Junior Urso gave Minnesota United a free kick. Gallese stood up to a strike from Raheem Edwards, however.
Orlando City finished 11th in the Eastern Conference last season, having amassed just nine wins.