ORLANDO, FL – Orlando City SC (6-2-4) defeated the Chicago Fire ( ) 4-1 in front of what looked like a storm of purple rain at Exploria Stadium in downtown Orlando.
Orland had contributions by Chris Mueller, Nani, Junior Urso, and Benji Michel who all hit the back of the net.
“When you see the score, you may think that the game was easy and that we put the game away much easier than other games and I don’t think that was the case. Said Orlando Head Coach Oscar Pareyra. “It was a constant difficulty for us just to beat the lines of Chicago.”
” It was our personality and a team who insisted on trying to play the ball well and try to generate sequences that put our forwards in an option to score and fortunately we were sharp in those actions.”
The Lions also appeared to have some help from above, as a shot in the 4th minute where Robert Beric’s deflected shot hit the crossbar and bounced out of goal, and then Ignacio Aliseda striking the post in the 20th minute.
With each goal, which came in the 11th, 24th, 78th and 95th minutes, a cloud of purple smoke was released from the Orlando supporters section. That cloud of smoke that lofted over the filed, along with the rainstorms that fell during most of the contest, appeared like a purple rain on the game.
Incredible, The Fire had not one, but tow goals called by VAR.
The Fire had Francisco Calvoi’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 it happened again, when 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.
Chicago also had other moment when they were out of sorts, for example when 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.
Chicago score finally on another PK in the 46th minute when left back Miguel Angel Navarro was tripped up by Mueller. Beric took this one and confidently picked out the bottom corner, drawing Chicago back at 2-1.
Orlando finally took hold of the match with a score by Junior Urso in the 78th minute, taking a ball after it bounced around in a buildup in front of the goal, and set one in after a rebound right at his feet.
Benji Michel sealed the deal with a solid score in stoppage time to fill out the final 4-1 score, ending with his usual running acrobatic, celebratory backflip in the air.
Mauricio Pareyra went down in the Orlando box with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, but head coach Oscar Pareya said that he was okay.
Nani also looked like he also suffered a lower leg injury, and hobbled through the final minutes of the game as the Lions had used all of their substitutions.
Orlando next heads to Kansas City to face Sporting KC on Wednesday September 23rd, and Chicago heads to Houston to face the Dynamo on September 23rd.