Wayne Rooney sprinted back from the edge of the penalty area, made a goal-saving sliding tackle, then got up and provided a 96th-minute winner in a dramatic DC United victory.
The MLS side's keeper David Ousted went up for a late corner, so his net was empty as 10-man Orlando cleared and went on the counter-attack.
But Rooney tackled Will Johnson, who was into the DC half and had no keeper in front of him, before a long-range pass teed up Luciano Acosta for the decisive goal in a 3-2 win.
The strike sealed a hat-trick for Acosta and sparked jubilant celebrations among the DC United players, who remain bottom of the Eastern Conference but have games in hand on their rivals as they attempt to make a late push for the play-offs.
Cristian Higuita was sent off for Orlando after 55 minutes and although Acosta then put DC United 2-1 in front, Dom Dwyer equalised for the 10 men.
"It was strange, we went from losing to winning in five seconds," said Rooney, 32.
"They're the best games of football to win. Of course, we should've done better against 10 men so it's something we can look to improve."
DC United said their player went into "beast mode", while MLS tweeted: "Are you kidding Wayne Rooney? Amazing."
England's record goalscorer added: "To be honest, I saw it happen before we took the corner.
"I normally go in the box for corners, that's why I stayed out because I tried to anticipate something like that happening.
"I've seen it before in football. You just rust run as quick as you can trying to get back. I was hoping he'd take a touch and he did."