2021 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Benji Michel (51')

Michel, Stajduhar shine as Orlando City nips Chicago

Benji Michel earns Orlando City a much-needed win vs. Fire (1:05)

Orlando City ends a run of three-straight draws with a 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire. (1:05)

Benji Michel scored from just outside the penalty area in the 51st minute as Orlando City SC defeated the visiting Chicago Fire 1-0 Saturday night in a match that was delayed 45 minutes at the outset because of severe weather.

Goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar made five saves in posting his first career shutout for the Lions (9-4-7, 34 points).

The Fire (5-11-5, 20 points) saw its winless streak on the road reach 19 matches (0-13-6) -- dating to a 5-2 victory at Orlando in September 2019.

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The goal came after a Chicago turnover in its own end. The Fire struggled to advance the ball before defender Mauricio Pineda tried to dribble it from the top of the 18-yard box up the middle of the field. He made it about 12 yards before Orlando City's Tesho Akindele knocked him off the ball, with Michel gaining possession about 35 yards from the Chicago net. Michel drove unimpeded down the field until unleashing a 20-yard shot toward the lower left corner of the net that eluded a diving attempt by Fire goalie Bobby Shuttleworth.

Shuttleworth was credited with two saves.

Orlando had the best chance in a scoreless first half, in the 11th minute. Silvester van der Water took a long through ball down the left wing and cut back toward the middle of the field when he reached the top of the 18-yard box. His 15-yard shot struck solidly off the far post and caromed back across the goalmouth.

The Lions avenged a 3-1 loss to Chicago on July 7 at Soldier Field and narrowed their deficit in the all-time series between the teams to 4-5-3.

Orlando captain Luis Nani started after missing Wednesday's match at Nashville with an undisclosed lower-body injury, but came off in the 30th minute.