Orlando City SC (9-13-8, 35 points) defeated the Chicago Fire (7-16-6, 27 points) 1-0 before 20,280 fans at Toyota Park on Saturday night, marking the second consecutive victory for the Lions.
Second half substitute Bryan Róchez scored the game-winning goal in the waning moments of the game, notching his second goal of the season after scoring his first as a Lion in the team’s 3-1 win over Sporting Kansas City last weekend.
After a slow start to the game, both sides produced an intensely contested match with goalkeepers Tally Hall and Jon Busch making difficult saves to keep their teams even.
However, in the second half, head coach Adrian Heath used all three of his substitutions, introducing Brek Shea and Bryan Rochez, who combined for the winning goal in the Lions’ win over Sporting, along with defensive midfielder Darwin Ceren – who returned to the pitch after missing last weekend’s game due to injury.
With four minutes remaining, all three players combined to score the game-winning goal – securing three points for Orlando. The play began when Shea collected the ball on the right wing and cut inside, playing an accurate pass in the box to Ceren who found Rochez for a clinical finish from six yards away.
“We wanted to keep it tight. In the end, it was good that all three subs were involved in the goal, but more importantly it was a great team effort from everybody,” said Heath. “We were always going to have to pick something up on the road to give us a chance, and we’ve done that tonight. Now, can we go again in New York next week. It’s give us a chance and as I said before, we’re going to keep fighting. I’m so pleased for us to win tonight, as we had over 100 people here from our office and some of our supporters so it was a great evening.”
11’ After a slow start to the match for both sides, Orlando produced a great chance when Luke Boden found centerback David Mateos on the back post for a headed effort with a precise free-kick. Unfortunately for the Lions, the Spaniard’s attempt went wide of the target.
17’ Carlos Rivas came close to putting the Lions ahead when running on to Cyle Larin’s ball into the box, firing a strong strike off the crossbar.
23’ Good build-up play and a clever dummy from Rivas released Boden deep into Chicago’s half. The left back’s attempted cross into the box was deflected wide for a corner.
34’ Tally Hall coordinated a top-notch save on a powerful header from Patrick Nyarko, leaping to push it wide and prevent the Fire from finding the back of the net.
37’ Three minutes later, Hall was called upon to make another tough save, parrying Chicago midfielder Harry Shipp’s volley away from danger.
45 (+1) At the end of the first half, both teams ventured into the locker room level 0-0.
54’ Rivas broke free in the space behind the defense and went down in the box, but the referee signaled play on.
66’ After sustaining a wave of attacks from the Fire, Orlando City ventured on the counter-attack on the left side through Rivas, finding Larin in behind for a chance but the striker had it saved by Jon Busch.
68’ Two minutes later, Rivas found Larin once again for a chance from the edge of the box with the target striker barely missing the far post.
70’ Midway through the second half, Heath made his first changes of the night, bringing on Bryan Róchez and Brek Shea for Cyle Larin and Adrian Winter.
75’ Róchez came close to scoring moments after being introduced when he found himself on the end of Rafael Ramos’ ball to the near post, heading an effort that forced a difficult save from Busch.
80’ Shea combined with Carrasco in the midfielder before firing a long-range effort that went over the crossbar.
86’ Orlando City finally broke through when Brek Shea cut inside and played a precise ball to second half substitute Darwin Cerén, who found Róchez for a clinical finish from six yards away to give the Lions a 1-0 advantage.
90 (+3) The referee blew the final whistle, resulting in a 1-0 victory for the Lions.
Team 1 2 Final
Orlando City SC 0 1 1
Chicago Fire 0 0 0
ORL: Bryan Róchez (Darwin Cerén) 86’
ORL: Rafael Ramos (Yellow Card) 31’
CHI: Jeff Larentowicz (Yellow Card) 39’
CHI: Michael Stephens (Yellow Card) 62’
CHI: Patrick Nyarko (Yellow Card) 80’
Orlando City SC – GK Tally Hall, D Rafael Ramos, David Mateos, Aurelien Collin, Luke Boden, M Cristian Higuita, Servando Carrasco, Adrian Winter (Brek Shea 70’), Carlos Rivas (Darwin Cerén 81’), Lewis Neal, F Cyle Larin (Bryan Róchez 70’)
Unused Subs: GK Earl Edwards Jr., D Seb Hines, M Eric Avila, F Danny Mwanga
Chicago Fire – GK Jon Busch, D Jeff Larentowicz, Joevin Jones, Ty Harden, Daniel Cyrus, M Patrick Nyarko (Mike Magee 85′), Razvan Cocis, Michael Stephens (Jason Johnson 85′), Harry Shipp (Gilberto 71′), D David Accam, Kennedy Igboananike
Unused Subs: GK Alec Kann, D Lovel Palmer, M Chris Ritter, Matt Watson
Time of Match: 8:30 p.m. ET
September 19, 2015
Orlando City’s next match will take place against the New York Red Bulls on Friday, September 25 at Red Bull Arena. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET.
The Lions will return to the Orlando Citrus Bowl on Saturday, October 3, to host the Montreal Impact. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
To purchase group or individual tickets, or for more information on the 2017 season ticket waitlist, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com or call 855-ORL-CITY FREE.