CHICAGO (Aug. 20, 2023) – Orlando City SC (11-6-7, 40 points) returned to regular-season play with a big win on the road, defeating the host Chicago Fire FC (8-8-8, 32 points) on Sunday night at Soldier Field. The Lions rallied from a 1-0 deficit early in the second half to score three straight for the 3-1 final scoreline in the Windy City.
The Lions were backed by goals from Wilder Cartegena, Iván Angulo and Facundo Torres, with the latter adding his eight goal of the season and fourth from the spot. Cartegena’s goal, the equalizer, was a near-immediate response from the road side, scoring just three minutes after the Fire pulled ahead, while Angulo’s score marked his fourth on the year.
Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese picked up the win between the sticks, also accumulating his 300th all-time save with his first stop on the night, all of which have come in purple.
The Lions next head home to host St. Louis CITY SC at Exploria Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 26 for the inaugural meeting between the two sides. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.
47’ Mauricio Pineda (Miguel Navarro) – CHI 1, ORL 0
The hosts got the scoring started just after the start of the second half, with Miguel Navarro playing a diagonal ball in from midfield. Two City defenders challenged the ball in the air, but it sailed just over the top to a waiting Mauricio Pineda for the two-touch finish.
50’ Wilder Cartagena (Facundo Torres) – ORL 1, CHI 1
The Lions leveled things up just three minutes later off of a corner kick. Facundo Torres took the corner, sending in an in-swinging cross to the head of Wilder Cartagena who knocked a header past Spencer Richey to equalize.
54’ Iván Angulo (César Araújo, Rafael Santos) – ORL 2, CHI 1
City took the lead just four minutes after Cartagena’s equalizer, with Rafael Santos playing a cross to Chicago’s back post. César Araújo was waiting on the far side, sending the ball back towards Iván Angulo for the header and the lead.
68’ Facundo Torres (Penalty Kick) – ORL 3, CHI 1
Facundo Torres added one more for the men from the City Beautiful in the 68th minute from the penalty spot. The spot kick was earned by Dagur Dan Thórhallsson as he dribbled across the top of Chicago’s box and was brought down by a Fire defender.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“We're very happy with the victory, very proud of the players, we played very correctly. In the first half we dominated, could have been more effective. And in the second half, Chicago had a the reaction and after they started leading the score, I thought our boys showed a lot of character and control of the game and then we scored goals. After that, again Chicago were trying to react but overall we controlled it well. So I think we played very well. I'm very proud of the players and the effort was remarkable tonight.”
- Forward Facundo Torres scored eighth goal of the season, converting a penalty kick in the 68th minute. Torres now sits sixth all-time for the Lions, tied with Tesho Akindele and now just one goal behind Chris Mueller for fifth.
- Iván Angulo notched his fourth tally of the 2023 campaign to put City into the lead just seven minutes after conceding the first goal.
- Defender Rafael Santos and midfielder César Araújo earned their fourth and sixth helpers of 2023 respectively. Araújo now sits third in assists for the Lions on the year.
- Midfielder Wilder Cartagena scored his second goal of 2023 for the Lions.
- Facundo Torres tallied his fourth assist of the campaign on Wilder Cartagena’s goal.
- Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese made his 300th save across all competitions as a Lion in the match, reaching the mark with a parry in the 30th minute.
- Entering the match as a second-half substitute, defender Mikey Halliday made his first appearance for the Club since June 24 at Seattle.
- With the win, Orlando improved to 5-1-1 all-time against the Fire under Head Coach Oscar Pareja.
- Martín Ojeda made his 30th appearance, coming on in the 79th minute.
- Also entering in the second half, midfielder Júnior Urso made his return to the pitch for the Lions after being re-signed by the Club on July 19.
- Head Coach Oscar Pareja made two changes to his starting lineup since his side’s last match against Inter Miami CF, with Rodrigo Schlegel and Dagur Dan Thórhallsson all getting the start on the night.