Orlando City SC had to beat the stoppage time, also

May 4, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese (1) warms up before the
May 4, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese (1) warms up before the / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

After an excessively long second half, playing Philadelphia Union, squad members and staff of Orlando City SC came away with an exhausting win.

The fourth official added an extra 18 minutes for stoppage time as Orlando City SC held onto their 3-2 lead against Philadelphia Union earlier in May. Orlando supporters were vocal about the ruling that gave the Union home team so many chances to rain balls on the SC net.

But goalkeeper Pedro Gallese was impenetrable for Union players. But he had help from his teammates and even from the desperate Union squad. There were 11 off-target shots in Gallese’s direction, including several blocked attempts.

After 18 minutes plus 90, Philadelphia dropped the third straight home game during their five-match winless streak.

It was a startlingly long stoppage time. Yet it’s only two minutes longer than what another team endured earlier this season. They got a more unfortunate result.

Columbus Crew thought they’d been victimized by the fourth official earlier this season. That was when they lost their first game to Charlotte FC 2-0.

The official had the March match continue 16 minutes after 45-minute mark. To add to the Crew’s outrage, during that stoppage time winger Cucho Hernandez appeared to score, but after review, a teammate was ruled offside.

In case anyone wants a a stoppage time cherry on top,  the crew were playing a man down after a red card.

This 61-minute grinder for Columbus and Charlotte has become the longest first half in MLS history. That’s not even counting the yellow and red cards.

So that's an MLS record. But it’s not the record.

Ryan Edward, Lloyd Kelly, Jack Simpson
Burton Albion v AFC Bournemouth - Carabao Cup Third Round / Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

In 2019, English League One team Burton Albion got paired with Premier League’s Bournemouth and beat them 2-0. But not without a 28-minute stoppage time. The reason wasn’t as action-packed as the Crew experienced visiting Charlotte.

There were three incidences where the stadium went dark. The result is the longest stoppage time in the Football League.

During one of the blackouts, officials tried to stop the game with a 0-0 draw. But league officials ran in and ordered them to play to the finish, plus 28 minutes.

But there’s one game where the stoppage time ran even longer – much longer.

If football fans will cast their vision beyond the Americas and Europe, they’ll find a very, very long stoppage incident during a match in Gaza.

Shahab Khanyounis and Ittihad Khanyounis played to a 0-0 draw. But the technician who handled lighting for that Football League game must have been moonlighting at this one. Because stadium personnel couldn’t get the lights on when they needed.

Play was stopped. Stadium workers searched for the technician in vain. Then they searched for control room keys, but couldn’t find them. It took 42 minutes to end all searches and get the lights shining on the pitch.

As all came to order, the players went at it for three minutes to reach the 90-mark. Then they completed the 42 added minutes.

All these timing officials are following their respective league rules. But if MLS endures another super-long stoppage this season, it’ll be time to revisit timekeeping guidelines for the league.

Until then, Orlando City SC will have to stay ready to hold on, as they did vs. Philadelphia.

It may take some time.

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