Daryl Dike explained the significance of the 2-2 draw against Nashville SC on Wednesday after a string of bad results left Orlando City in a vulnerable position ahead of the 2021 playoffs.
Dike scored the opening goal for Orlando City with a penalty in the 76th minute, replacing teammate Nani on PK duties.
“When the ref blew the whistle, I just grabbed the ball,” Dike explained in a press conference following the match. “I was confident that I wanted to score the goal and help spark the comeback and so, I just grabbed the ball and wanted to put it in the back of the net.”
The draw snapped Orlando City’s four-match losing streak that put their MLS Cup Playoffs position in danger. The club now sits in seventh place with 39 points in 27 games.
“Recently, you know, we've left the field with a sour taste in our mouths," Dike said. "After the New England game, I think we competed very well and we walked out of the game, even though we had not gotten any points, [we were] thinking, okay, this is going to be when we start changing. We come into this match, even after going down, we still knew that today was going to be the day that we were going to get a result, that we were going to change things."
While they would qualify to the tournament in their current position, the race is very tight and once victory could change everything. With only seven games left in the season, Dike expressed the importance of each remaining minute.
“Coming into the end of the season, this is what we wanted,” he added. “You want people to start pushing and getting that desire again. And I think with these results, and with these next few games towards the end of the season, it's exactly what we needed. I couldn't be more proud for the results that we had today and the effort that we gave.”