With All-Star right back Romain Métanire nursing a hamstring injury, Minnesota United manager Adrian Heath had to turn to second-year jack of all trades Hassani Dotson during Thursday’s MLS is Back Tournament semifinal against Orlando City.
Dotson has proven himself a commendable professional despite having just turned 23, but a rare cameo on the defensive flank was always going to be a tough ask — especially so when the man he’s tasked with marking has made over 100 appearances for both Manchester United and Portugal: Mr. Nani.
Things went well enough over the opening half hour, but then, in the 36th-minute, Nani caught Dotson about one-yard too far upfield and punished him with the sort of first touch and finish that only a four-time Premier League champion can provide.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 7, 2020
Nani’s second goal — coming just six minutes after the first — was even better. After an impeccable piece of control with his thigh, the 33-year-old Portuguese winger took advantage of Dotson standing off him and whipped a casual finish inside the far post from distance.
NANI AGAIN!!! pic.twitter.com/EEeS272nwQ— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 7, 2020
The final between Orlando and Portland is on Tuesday, Aug. 11, at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.