BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Orlando City's underdog story won't continue in this year’s edition of the US Open Cup. The Chicago Fire made sure of that on Wednesday at Toyota Park in a 5-1 win over the USL PRO side to advance to the tournament semifinals for the ninth time.
After a few nervy moments and an Orlando City equalizer early in the second half, goals from Patrick Nyarko, Chris Rolfe, Mike Magee and Joel Lindpere made for a lopsided scoreline.
Rolfe had led off the scoring an hour earlier, heading home a Dilly Duka cross in the sixth minute, his second goal in Open Cup play.
Orlando City were able to hold plenty of possession throughout the first half, but they couldn't do much with it, taking two shots on goal but never really testing Sean Johnson.
Early in the second half, however, they made the Fire ‘keeper and defenders work.
After penetrating deep in the offensive third a few times early, Orlando City forward Kevin Molino found Rob Valentino, who made a run in between Alex and Bakary Soumaré to the front post and touched home the equalizer.
Orlando almost took the lead a few minutes later when Dom Dwyer collected a cross and fired a hard shot, but Johnson was able to make a diving save – one that seemed to wake the hosts up.
The Fire put up two goals in five minutes, one a stunning solo effort by Nyarko, and the next a bit of clever interplay from Jeff Larentowicz and Rolfe, virtually sealing their passage to the semifinals.
A red card to Orlando City defender Yann Songo'o in the 72nd minute made it academic, with Magee and Lindpere tacking on late goals for the final tally.
After winning three games in eight days, the Fire have the weekend off before they host San Jose on July 3. They'll host D.C. United in the Open Cup semis on Aug. 7.