Fire fall to Orlando City as road winless streak reaches 19 gamesSun-Times wireson August 22, 2021 at 4:39 am

ORLANDO, Fla. — Mason Stajduhar made a career-high five saves for his first MLS shutout, Benji Michel scored in the 51st minute and Orlando City beat the Fire 1-0 on a rain-soaked Saturday night. The kickoff was delayed about 45 minutes because of heavy rain.

Orlando City (9-4-7) is unbeaten in its last five games. The Fire (5-11-5) are winless in 19 straight road games since a 5-2 victory at Orlando City in October 2019.

The 23-year-old Stajduhar has started each of the last five games — the only five appearances of his MLS career — in place of injured Pedro Gallese, who returned to the Orlando City bench after a three-week absence but did not see action.

Gallese, who suffered a leg injury in the closing minutes of a loss to New York City FC on July 25, is expected to return to the starting lineup Friday against Inter Miami.

Tesho Akindele stole the ball from Fire defender Mauricio Pineda in the attacking third and poked it to Michel, who took two dribbles before driving a roller inside the post from the top of the penalty arc past Bobby Shuttleworth.

The Fire nearly tied it off a corner kick in extra time. Alvaro Medran curled in a corner that Luka Stojanovic headed on frame but was cleared off the line by Orlando goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar. One minute later, Stajduhar blocked a free kick outside the box from Medran to secure the win.

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