BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (Sept. 16, 2018) – The Chicago Fire (7-15-6, 27 points) recorded a 4-0 win over Orlando City SC (7-18-3, 24 points) on Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park, marking the team’s largest margin of victory in regular-season play in the 2018 campaign.
The Fire opened scoring in the third minute of play when midfielder Michael de Leeuw played a pass to the near post to forward Nemanja Nikolic, who converted from close range. Nikolic’s third-minute strike marked the team’s quickest league goal in 2018.
With the Fire continuing to pressure Orlando City early in the first half, the team forced a turnover from goalkeeper Joe Bendik inside the 18-yard box, leading to a right-footed finish from midfielder Aleksandar Katai in the 28th minute.
The Fire added a third goal in the 56th minute when de Leeuw got on the end of a corner kick to redirect the ball into goal with his left foot. The play marked de Leeuw’s first goal in just his fourth appearance this season after recovering from a ruptured anterior-cruciate ligament suffered on Sept. 30, 2017.
Nikolic completed his brace in the 70th minute when midfielder Raheem Edwards won the ball in the center circle, raced toward goal and played a well-weighted pass back across the 18-yard box. Taking a quick touch to settle Edwards’ pass, Nikolic placed his left-footed shot into the far corner to propel the Fire to a four-goal lead.
Next up, the Fire will travel to take on the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. CT (ESPN+/Univision Radio WRTO AM 1200). Coverage begins at 6:15 p.m. CT with a live pregame show on ESPN+ presented by CIBC.
Chicago Fire 4:0 Orlando City SC
Sept. 16, 2018 – Toyota Park
CHI – Nemanja Nikolic (Michael de Leeuw, Dax McCarty) 3’
CHI – Aleksandar Katai (Djordje Mihailovic, Michael de Leeuw) 28’
CHI – Michael de Leeuw (Johan Kappelhof, Djordje Mihailovic) 56’
CHI – Nemanja Nikolic (Raheem Edwards) 70’
CHI – Aleksandar Katai (caution) 58’
Chicago Fire: Richard Sanchez; Nicolas Hasler, Johan Kappelhof, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Brandon Vincent; Dax McCarty ©, Brandt Bronico; Aleksandar Katai (Daniel Johnson 80’), Djordje Mihailovic (Drew Conner 73’), Michael de Leeuw (Raheem Edwards 64’); Nemanja Nikolic
Subs not used: Stefan Cleveland, Jonathan Campbell, Jorge Corrales, Alan Gordon
Shots: 16; Shots On-Goal: 6 Fouls:12; Saves: 2; Offsides: 1; Corners: 12
Orlando City SC: Joe Bendik, Scott Sutter, Shane O’Neill (Chris Mueller HT), Jonathan Spector ©, Carlos Ascues, Sacha Kljestan, Yoshimar Yotun, Mohamed El-Munir, Oriol Rosell, Josue Coleman (Pierre Da Silva 70’), Dom Dwyer
Subs not used: Adam Grinwis, Lamine Sane, Will Johnson, Stefano Pinho, RJ Allen
Shots: 11; Shots On-Goal: 2; Fouls: 11; Saves: 2; Offsides:1; Corners: 3