BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (Sept. 15, 2023) – Orlando City B (12-10-5, 43 points) picked up two points on the road against Chicago Fire FC II (9-8-10, 41 points) after equalizing the match in 71st minute, resulting in a 1-1 final scoreline. With the result on the night, the Lions officially clinched their spot in the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs.
The Illinois-based side dominated the early going in the first half, taking the lead 17 minutes in with a goal from Sergio Oregel. The Lions found their offensive rhythm towards the end of the first half and dominated in the second half, pushing towards the equalizer and leveling the score with a diving header from Orlando City forward Wilfredo Rivera.
The Lions faced their second consecutive end-of-regulation shootout, with Orlando City goalkeeper Javier Otero imposing himself over the Fire, saving two out of their five attempts and securing both an extra point and a spot in the playoffs for OCB.
The Lions will return to Osceola County Stadium on Sunday, September 24, where they will host FC Cincinnati 2 in a Decision Day showdown. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.
17’ Sergio Oregel (Dylan Borso) – CHI 1, ORL 0
The hosts took the lead in the 17th minute when Dylan Borso received a cross from his teammate on the left side of the box with both sides struggling to gain control of the ball. After facing down challenges in the box, Sergio Orgel found the right angle to volley the ball into the center of the goal.
71’ Wilfredo Rivera – ORL 1, CHI 1
The Lions responded with an equalizer in the second half with Wilfredo Rivera finding himself in the perfect position just off the center of the box, hitting the ball with a powerful diving header towards the lower-left corner of the net to level it at 1.
- With the end-of-regulation shootout win, the Lions clinched a spot in the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro playoffs for the first time in the Club's young history.
- Wilfredo Rivera tallied his third goal of the season with a second-half equalizer.
- Goalkeeper Javier Otero made two saves in the end-of-regulation shootout to secure the extra point for the Lions.
- The Lions picked up their second end-of-regulation shootout win of the season.
- With the draw, the Lions move to 3-1-1 all-time against Chicago Fire FC II.
- Head Coach Martín Perelman made three changes to his starting lineup from his side’s last match against New England Revolution II, with Franco Pérez, Jhon Solís and Thomas Williams all earning the start.