ORLANDO, Fla. (Sept. 19, 2020) - Orlando City SC (6-2-4, 22 points) scored a season-high four goals on Saturday night at Exploria Stadium, defeating Chicago Fire FC (2-7-3, 7 points) by a score of 4-1. With the win, the Lions move to six-straight unbeaten, tying a Club record.
Chris Mueller, Nani, Júnior Urso and Benji Michel all found the back of the net for the Lions in the match, with six different members of the side registering a goal contribution on the night. Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese came up big as well, most notably swatting away a Chicago penalty in the 35th minute to maintain City’s two-goal lead at the time.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“I think it was a roller coaster of a game today with a rival that came here with initiatives and an idea of the game that was very clear. That just makes us enjoy our victory much more because we beat a great team today in Chicago. From the first minute, it was difficult to control, especially with such great players in the middle of the field, but I think we had our identity. We had courage all the time to overcome the difficult moments. As I said, that roller coaster at the end, we were consistent in trying to get up front and be aggressive and then we scored four goals, which is not easy in this league.”
11’ Chris Mueller - ORL 1, CHI 0
The Lions took the lead with Nani finding Júnior Urso in the midfield, who subsequently played a ball to a running Chris Mueller to his right. Mueller took his space into the box before cutting it to his left foot and putting just enough on his shot for it to trickle into the back of the net despite an attempt to block his effort by the Chicago defense.
24’ Nani (Chris Mueller, Mauricio Pereyra) - ORL 2, CHI 0
City doubled its advantage with Mauricio Pereyra collecting a pass at the edge of the area before finding Mueller on the right flank. The Lions’ leading scorer teed it up, lofting a ball into the box and finding the head of Luis Nani for the finish.
48’ Robert Berić (PK) - ORL 2, CHI 1
The Fire cut the deficit in half with Robert Berić converting from the penalty spot just after the halftime break.
78’ Júnior Urso (Andrés Perea) - ORL 3, CHI 1
The Lions regained the two-goal lead following a free kick from Nani that bounced around in the area before Andrés Perea could get a backheel to it, eventually falling to the foot of Júnior Urso to slot it home.
90+5’ Benji Michel (Nani) - ORL 4, CHI 1
City added another to the scoreboard just seconds before the final whistle, this time with Nani finding Benji Michel, who dribbled through the area before creating enough space to rip off a left-footed shot into the back of the net.
- Chris Mueller scored his seventh goal of the season while adding his fifth assist of the year in the match to extend his team-high total to 12 goal contributions.
- Nani scored his third goal of the regular season on the night and his sixth of the year across all competitions, while adding his third assist of the season on Michel’s stoppage time finish.
- Júnior Urso scored his second goal of the year in the contest, with Andrés Perea earning his second assist of the season on the finish.
- Benji Michel scored his third goal of the season in second half stoppage time, now having found the back of the net in three of the Lions’ last four matches.
- Mauricio Pereyra registered his fourth assist of the year on Nani’s 24th minute finish.
- Chicago had a chance to halve the deficit in the 35th minute from the penalty spot, but Álvaro Medrán’s strike was punched away by a diving Pedro Gallese to keep the Fire scoreless at the time.
- The Fire had two goals disallowed by VAR in the match, the first for offsides and the second for a handball.
Next Match: The Lions head out on the road for a two-game stint away from home, first traveling to face Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at Children’s Mercy Park before continuing on the road at FC Dallas on Sunday, Sept. 27.