The Lions roared to a 2-0 lead early on, first through Chris Mueller’s winding run in the 11th minute and then via Nani’s header in the 24th minute. Mueller benefitted from a couple deflections, and later set up Nani for a snapped-home finish.
Chicago were dealt some misfortunes in the first half, starting with Robert Beric’s deflected shot hitting the crossbar in the 4th minute and then Ignacio Aliseda striking the post in the 20th minute. The Fire then had Francisco Calvo’s goal in the 27th minute waived off after Video Review deemed Elliot Collier to be in an offside position, impacting the Costa Rican’s header off a free kick.
The drama intensified in the 34th minute when Chicago were awarded a penalty kick after Ruan handled a Djordje Mihailovic pass. Alvaro Medran and Robert Beric argued over who would take the PK, only for Medran to win out and miss his attempt when Orlando goalkeeper Pedro Gallese made a sprawling save to his right.
With that dispute providing context, Chicago then got another PK in the 46th minute as left back Miguel Angel Navarro got tripped up by Mueller. Beric took this one and confidently picked out the bottom corner, drawing Chicago back at 2-1.
The Fire thought they had an equalizer in the 56th minute when Boris Sekulic’s deflected shot found the bottom corner following a set piece. But Video Review again intervened, this time calling Homegrown center back Mauricio Pineda for a handball in the buildup.
The back-and-forth nature was eventually put to bed in the 78th minute when Orlando midfielder Junior Urso made it 3-1. The Brazilian’s effort hit the post and bounced in, concluding a pinball-like sequence in the 18-yard box.
Driving the knife even deeper, Orlando made it a rout in the 95th minute through Benji Michel. The Homegrown forward cut onto his left and picked out the far corner to seal the 4-1 result.
- 11' – ORL – Chris Mueller | WATCH
- 24' – ORL – Nani | WATCH
- 48' – CHI – Robert Beric (PK) | WATCH
- 78' – ORL – Junior Urso | WATCH
- 90' + 5' – ORL – Benji Michel | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: It was a frustrating night for Chicago, as they hit two posts, twice had goals called back through Video Review and had some penalty-kick drama. They again finished on the losing end, moving to 0-3-2 in their last five matches. From an Orlando perspective, their now 4-0-2 in their last six games and enjoying every moment of this undefeated run. Their top players are in fine form, and three points keep stacking up.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Chicago’s first-half penalty kick provided plenty of controversy. Alvaro Medran and Robert Beric argued over who would take it, and ultimately the Spaniard won out. But in dramatic fashion, Medran’s effort was saved by Pedro Gallese following a friendly-fire argument.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Nani had a goal and an assist, plus logged his first 90-minute performance since late August. After getting some rest earlier this month, Orlando’s DP star is again impacting the scoresheet.