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Chicago Fire 4, Orlando City SC 0 | 2018 MLS Match Recap

Maybe all the Chicago Fire needed was a sojourn to Munich.

Chicago defeated Orlando City SC 4-0 at Toyota Park in their first MLS match since Aug. 23 and first game since Bastian Schweinsteiger's Bayern Munich testimonial in Germany on Aug. 28.

Nemanja Nikolic opened the scoring after just three minutes, as Dax McCarty won the ball the attacking third and slipped Michael de Leeuw behind the Lions' backline, who rolled the ball to Nicolic for the tap in at the near post.

The Fire doubled their lead courtesy a Joe Bendik mistake 25 minutes later. A heavy touch from the Orlando keeper allowed Djordje Mihailovic to pick out Katai to roll into an empty net.

De Leeuw padded the lead off a corner kick in the second half, losing his marker and finishing at the back post in the 56th minute. Nikolic got his brace in the 70th minute when Raheem Edwards intercepted a pass at midfield to lead a two-on-one, setting up Nikolic for a one-time finish past Bendik.

Chicago's win leaves Orlando alone at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with 24 points after 28 games. The Fire are now second-last with 27 points.

Goals

  • 3' — CHI — Nemanja Nikolic | WATCH
  • 28' -- CHI -- Alexsander Katai | WATCH
  • 56' -- CHI -- Michael de Leeuw | WATCH
  • 70' -- CHI -- Nemanja Nikolic | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: For both Chicago and Orlando, this game was all about 2019. Bottom two in the East, this season is a disappointment for both by any measure. For the Fire, they give their fans a moment to smile about as they work to put together more moments to build upon for next season. 
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Katai scoring a tap-in as the result of Bendik's heavy touch was a microcosm for the match low on intensity.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Nikolic's two goals bookended the match as he was too much for the Orlando City defense to handle.

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