The action was hot and heavy from the opening whistle of Friday night’s showdown between Orlando City SC and Chicago Fire. Yet after Orlando’s Cyle Larin and Chicago’s David Accam exchanged goals in the opening minutes, neither side was able to find the back of the net again and played to a 1-1 draw at the Citrus Bowl.
Orlando will be disappointed after failing to take advantage of playing a man up for the final hour after Chicago defender Michael Harrington was sent off for a reckless tackle on Brek Shea in the 32nd minute.
Larin didn’t waste time on getting his second goal of the season, picking up where he left off from his MLS rookie record of 17 strikes last season, pulling in a Kevin Molino feed, side-stepping a defender at the top of the box and firing past Fire goalkeeper Matt Lampson in the fourth minute.
Accam answered back 10 minutes later with his second of the year as well, streaking behind the defense to collect a long ball from John Goossens and beat Orlando ‘keeper Joe Bendik. With the man advantage, Orlando had the bulk of the possession for most of the night, firing off 13 shots (five on goal), but the winner never came.
- 4’ – ORL – Cyle Larin (Kevin Molino)
- 14’ – CHI – David Accam (John Goossens)
- Full box score
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- NOCERINO DEBUTS: Orlando were without their star Brazilian Kaka for the second time in as many games to start the 2016 season as he continues to recover from a thigh strain suffered ahead of Sunday’s season opener. His former AC Milan teammate in Italy, midfielder Antonio Nocerino, got the start in his absence, going 63 minutes on the left wing in his MLS debut.
- LAMPSON SHOW – WITH A LITTLE HELP: Fire goalkeeper Matt Lampson, making his second start of the season ahead of incumbent No. 1 Sean Johnson, made four saves to lead a stout defensive effort for Chicago after going a man down. He also had some help from the goalpost, as both Larin and substitute Pedro Ribeiro draw woodwork in the waning minutes as they pushed for a winner.
- DRAW OF A DIFFERENT FLAVOR: It’s the second draw in as many games for Orlando, but they’ll come away feeling very differently about Friday’s result than they did from their wild, 2-2 draw in Sunday’s season opener against Real Salt Lake. In that match, Orlando scored goals in the 94th and 95th minutes to rescue a point. It's the first point of the season for Chicago and first-year head coach Veljko Paunovic.
- ORL: Friday at New York City FC (7 PM ET, UniMas)
- CHI: Saturday vs. Columbus Crew SC (5 PM ET, MLS LIVE)