photo by Jonathan Dyer/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
Orlando City and the Chicago Fire had more than one another to worry about as they jostled for playoff positioning. They also had to deal with Mother Nature to deal with.
Playing in the midst of a heavy storm that caused two delays in the action, Orlando City and the Chicago Fire played to a 1-1 stalemate at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday night. The two Eastern Conference playoff hopefuls had to deal with pauses in the action of 110 and 67 minutes, with the first coming prior to kickoff and the second happening midway through the opening stanza.
The rain-soaked match concluded after midnight, and saw the two clubs share the spoils despite each of them sorely needing three points. David Accam opened the scoring in the 30th minute with a shot that beat Orlando goalkeeper Tally Hall at the near post, but the Chicago attacker’s good work was outdone by an Eric Gehrig own goal seven minutes later.
Gehrig accidentally flicked a floated cross over goalkeeper Sean Johnson and into the Fire net on the play. It initially looked as if Orlando City striker Cyle Larin had nodded the ball from Lewis Neal home to set the rookie record for goals in an MLS season, but it was Gehrig that got the touch on the ball.
The Lions, who currently hold the sixth and final playoff spot in the East, have now gone five games without a victory. The ninth-placed Fire are two points behind them with a game in hand after collecting four from a possible six in their two games during this round of MLS action.
Chicago beat the New York Red Bulls, 3-2, on Wednesday.
What did you think of Orlando City’s 1-1 draw with the Fire? What can the Lions do to solve their problems? See the Fire jumping into the playoff picture?
Share your thoughts below.