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Road Woes Continue: Chicago Fire Fall to Orlando City 1-0

The Chicago Fire dominated most of their match with Orlando City, but one mistake cost the Fire in their 1-0 loss over the weekend.

Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

Last night, the Fire continued their unfortunate trend of losing on the road, falling 1-0 to Orlando City. Orlando City, the second-place team in the Eastern Conference, kept Chicago winless on the road for the season.

Looking back, the Chicago Fire locker room was loud with celebrations at Soldier Field last Sunday. The Fire were celebrating a 1-0 victory against the Columbus Crew to stay unbeaten in August. They left for a six-game road trip in high spirits and with momentum. Of course, what followed was a tough 3-2 loss against Inter Miami in which the victory slipped through Chicago’s hands.

The Recap

If you just look at the statistics on paper, the Chicago Fire seemed to be the better team on the pitch. They took 18 shots to Orlando City’s 11, they had five shots on target to Orlando City’s three, and they had possession of the ball 54.5% of the match. It’s a familiar tune for Fire fans: the Fire still lost the match thanks to Orlando City’s Benji Michel’s opportunistic goal in the 51st minute.

In a game like soccer, all it takes is one mistake to turn the tide of a match. That’s what happened leading to Michel’s game winner. Fire defender Mauricio Pineda had the ball deep in Fire territory. He didn’t see Orlando City’s Tesho Akindele sneaking up behind him, and Akindele made quick work of snagging the ball from Pineda. There wasn’t much Michel needed to do. The ball fell to him, and he just needed to take a couple uncontested dribbles before firing his shot.

The Fire had several attempts on goal in the last minutes. It felt like one of them was sure to find the back of the net. Alas, none did, and the Fire walked off the field in 12th place in the Eastern Conference.

After the match, Raphael Wicky spoke to the frustration that came with the loss. He said, “It’s very frustrating because we played a really good away game. I think we controlled a big stretch of the game away against a good team—a team that normally dominates a lot of games. We had our chances, and we got punished by one mistake.”

What’s On Tap Next for the Fire?

The Chicago Fire get some time to recollect themselves before continuing their road trip. Next up, Chicago will be in New York taking on the 10th place Red Bulls. Currently, the Red Bulls are just two points ahead of the Fire, so it will be an important opportunity for the Fire to get their first win on the road this season.

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Bulls and Cubs Writer for OnTapSportsNet. Author of Extraordinary Girl, available on Amazon and at other select retailers.

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