ORLANDO, Fla. (Orlando City Soccer) - Orlando City SC (9-15-10, 37 points) fell 5-2 to the Chicago Fire (10-12-12, 42 points) in its 2019 MLS season finale on Sunday afternoon at Exploria Stadium. Tesho Akindele and Benji Michel each scored for the Lions in the match, with Michel recording his first assist of his professional career on the afternoon.
Head Coach James O’Connor:
“Obviously very disappointing finish to the season. I think obviously today we knew it was going to be difficult, we were missing Lamine [Sané], got a sickness through the week and then Robin [Jansson] obviously going off injured. I think when that happens, you’ve got your two first choice center backs that are out, especially for how those two have done throughout the course of the year. I think both of them have been exceptional this year. I think even despite conceding all those goals, I think those two have had a really good year, but it’s just a really bitter way to finish the season.”
5’ Tesho Akindele (Benji Michel, Mauricio Pereyra) - ORL 1, CHI 0
City took the early lead with Mauricio Pereyra sending a through ball in behind the Chicago defense for Benji Michel. The Homegrown then played a ball across the face of goal for Tesho Akindele, whose shot deflected off the post and into the net for the finish.
17’ Kyle Smith (OG) - ORL 1, CHI 1
The Fire leveled the match when a cross into the box deflected off the foot of Kyle Smith into the back of the net.
61’ C.J. Sapong (Fabian Herbers, Aleksander Katai) - CHI 2, ORL 1
Chicago took the lead with Aleksander Katai sending in a through ball for Fabian Herbers, who cut it back to the middle of the area for C.J. Sapong for the first-time finish.
63’ Aleksander Katai - CHI 3, ORL 1
The visitors doubled their lead, this time with Katai collecting a deflection and dribbling into the box before sending a left-footed shot into the corner of the net.
66’ Przemyslaw Frankowski (Dax McCarty) - CHI 4, ORL 1
Chicago added another with Dax McCarty flicking a ball back for Przemyslaw Frankowski, who sent in a backheel finish to add to the Fire lead.
74’ Benji Michel (Sacha Kljestan) - CHI 4, ORL 2
The Lions cut the deficit to two after Sacha Kljestan sent in a ball for Benji Michel, who took one touch before sending a ball past Chicago goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm into the back of the net.
87’ Przemyslaw Frankowski - CHI 5, ORL 2
The Fire closed out the scoring on the night with Frankowski flicking a ball up to himself in the six-yard box before finishing it with his head for the score.
• Tesho Akindele scored his 10th goal of the season in the match, trailing only Nani on the squad in finishes this season. Akindele’s finish in the fifth minute was the earliest scored by the Lions this season.
• Benji Michel scored his fifth goal of his rookie campaign in the match.
• Benji Michel recorded his first assist of his professional career on Akindele’s goal in the fifth minute. Mauricio Pereyra registered the secondary assist, his third since joining the Club earlier this season.
• Sacha Kljestan registered his third assist of 2019 on Benji Michel’s second half finish.
• The Lions were forced into a first-half substitution when Robin Jansson left the match in the 37th minute with an injury.
• Orlando City finishes the 2019 season with 52 goals against, the lowest goals conceded in the team’s MLS history. The previous record was set at 56 in the 2015 season, City’s inaugural MLS campaign.