Chris Durkin scored a sensational goal from the edge of the penalty area in the 80th minute to lift D.C. United to a 1-1 draw against visiting Orlando City on Saturday night.
Durkin’s first MLS goal since the end of last July canceled out the first goal of Duncan McGuire’s pro career earlier in the second half and was the first Orlando has conceded all season.
It’s also the third goal D.C. (1-1-1, four points) has scored at the 80-minute mark or later in their first two home games of the new season.
Pedro Gallese made four saves for Orlando (1-0-2, five points) and was at no fault for Durkin’s thunderous strike. It was the third consecutive draw in all competitions for Orlando, the second of those coming at Tigres UANL of Mexico on Tuesday night in the first round of the CONCACAF Champions League.
Durkin first turned pro with D.C. as a teenager and played a defensive midfield role but has been featured on the wing since his return from the Belgian first division.
He’s still not known as a goal scorer, with only three to his name during his MLS career, but he took his chance against Orlando like a player of far higher attacking pedigree.
The moment came after Pedro Santos did well to keep a ball from running out of play, then found Durkin at the edge of the 18-yard box.
Durkin took a right-footed touch to his left to evade a charging defender, then smashed a left-footed drive that nestled just inside the far right post and beyond Gallese’s dive.
Twenty-seven minutes prior, McGuire withstood a challenge from Steve Birnbaum to redirect Dagur Thorhallsson’s header across the line from close range at the back post.
Only moments after McGuire’s goal, referee Jon Freemon pointed to the penalty spot for a handball on defender Robin Jansson. But the call was overturned following a video review that showed the ball had hit another defender before deflecting into the path of Jansson’s arm.
–Field Level Media
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