MLS: Orlando City 3-2 Chicago Fire
Orlando City SC (4-5-5, 17 points) extended its unbeaten run to four matches on Saturday night, defeating the Chicago Fire 3-2 at Toyota Park.
Despite falling behind 2-1 early in the second half, the Lions produced a complete team performance to battle back and claim the team’s first victory against an Eastern Conference side this season, propelling the Lions to fifth place in the East.
Although Orlando City controlled an overwhelming amount of possession against the Fire (62-38), the home side were equally dangerous on the counter attack, led by strikers David Accam and Kennedy Igboananike and midfielder Harry Shipp.
Chicago scored the first goal of the game in the eighth minute of play when Accam found Igboananike for a comfortable tap-in. However, Orlando increased the pressure in the final third, leading to an own-goal from Chicago defender Adailton in the 40th minute.
City maintained their strong play into the second half, but an efficient counter-attack from Chicago saw David Accam double the home side’s lead in the 55th minute.
In response, Orlando head coach Adrian Heath made two tactical changes that would prove to change the fixture, bringing on rookie Cyle Larin and speedy winger Carlos Rivas. Less than 20 minutes after entering the game, Larin produced a massive goal from distance, scoring his fifth goal in eight starts as the first year striker continued his excellent form this season.
Three minutes later, Rivas broke free down the left-hand-side and created the go-ahead goal for City as his cross deflected off Adailton. Chicago made a late push to salvage a point but sound defending from Orlando resulted in an impressive away victory for the Lions.
“In between the goals, I thought we were far and away the better team in terms of football this evening,” said head coach Adrian Heath. “I feel as though the group is coming together a little bit more, there’s a little bit more camaraderie in the group. It’s a really happy dressing room. I told them ‘Nothing comes easy. Anything that’s worth fighting for is hard.’ They dug in tonight and they were excellent. I thought there were some really good performances.”