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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 24 May, 2020

Kaka scores last-gasp equaliser as St Ledger makes MLS debut

The Brazilian legend upstaged David Villa in the clash of the new franchises.

It was a dream debut for the Brazilian.
It was a dream debut for the Brazilian.
Image: Orlando City SC/Twitter

Updated 23.40pm

KAKA UPSTAGED DAVID VILLA at a sold out Citrus Bowl as he scored a stoppage-time equaliser for Orlando City against New York City FC.

The ex-Brazil international struck a late equaliser for the home side in front of 62,510 fans while New York City’s captain – and former Spain representative – Villa failed to get on the scoresheet.

Ireland international Sean St Ledger made his MLS debut after being introduced deep into injury-time. The defender recently joined the Florida-based outfit but was named on the bench by Orlando coach Adrian Heath.

United States international Mix Diskerud had threatened to upstage both team-mate Villa and Orlando captain Kaka when he curled home NYC’s maiden competitive goal in the 76th minute.

But in the first minute of stoppage time, Kaka stepped up to take a free-kick from 20 yards and his effort took a massive deflection to beat NYC goalkeeper Josh Saunders and spark the majority of the crowd into raucous celebrations.

The game was refereed by Corkman Alan Kelly who moved to the US last January to take up a position with the country’s Professional Referees Organization (PRO) after a lengthy spell officiating in his native land.

Kelly sent-off Orlando’s Aurelien Collin for this lunge on Villa.

After joining the League of Ireland referees panel in 1999, it wasn’t long before Kelly had made the Fifa list and began to take charge of Champions League and Europa League matches.

Last term, he was assigned 15 MLS games while he also has a training and development role with PRO.

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About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

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