Orlando City B defeated the Charleston Battery jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and held on for a 2-1 in Charleston, SC after defender Tyler Turner was sent off at the end of the first half. The Turner dismissal put the Battery on the board via a penalty and forced the Lions to defend for nearly the entire final 45 minutes but they were able to hold on and secure the three points.
OCB had the majority of the possession and the chances in the first half, largely through stellar play by teenage midfielder Pierre Da Silva. The youngster had two free kicks in the half which nearly saw him give the Lions the lead. The first one in the eighth minute went just wide of goal. Four minutes later, Da Silva hit the crossbar from just outside the box.
The Lions finally broke through in the 15th minute. Left back Mikey Ambrose sent the ball forward for Da Silva, who took it into the box and played it on for striker Michael Cox. The Canadian front man made a nice turn on center back Forrest Lasso and put it past Battery goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper for his fifth goal of the season.
15' GOOALLL! Michael Cox holds up play, turns, and finishes with an excellent strike! OCB lead 0-1! pic.twitter.com/2xmga4zA7W— Orlando City B (@OrlandoCityB) June 11, 2016
OCB doubled its lead in the 42nd minute, after Cox was taken down by Lasso to the right of goal, giving the Lions a free kick. Da Silva sent the ball into the six-yard box and it found the head of center back Conor Donovan, who nodded home to give the Lions a 2-0 lead.
It looked like smooth sailing for OCB heading into the half but four minutes into injury time, things took a turn for the worse. After Ricky Garbanzo went down in the box for Charleston, OCB right back Tyler Turner, already on a yellow card, leaned down to have some words with the Battery midfielder. The referee deemed this worthy of a second yellow and Turner was sent off.
Tyler Turner given a red after this incident. A penalty has been given to Charleston. pic.twitter.com/udxYax3RVz— Orlando City B (@OrlandoCityB) June 11, 2016
To make matters worse, Charleston was awarded a penalty as the incident happened inside the box. Justin Portillo put away the ensuing spot kick and the Battery cut the halftime lead to 2-1.
Up a man but down a goal, Charleston went into the second half roaring. The Battery dominated play, forcing the Lions into a shell inside their own box for much of the final 45 minutes. They nearly equalized in the 57th minute when a Romario Williams shot was saved off the post by goalkeeper Mark Ridgers. They nearly scored again in the 69th minute when Garbanzo sent the ball just over the crossbar.
OCB's only real chance of the second half came in the 73rd minute, when substitute Johnny Mendoza sent the ball across the box. However, with the Lions keeping nearly every player behind the ball, nobody was there to get on the end of it.
Other than that one chance for the Lions, it was 10 men behind the ball. Good defensive work by the center backs -- Conor Donovan, Devron Garcia, and, later, Kyle McFadden -- as well strong play by Ridgers kept the home team at bay and the Lions were able to hold on for the 2-1 win.
The win for the young Lions moves them up to 17 points in their first 13 games, placing them eighth in the USL's Eastern Conference. They'll return home to Melbourne next Sunday night where they'll face New York Red Bulls II at Titan Soccer Complex.
Starting XI: Ridgers; Ambrose, D. Garcia (McFadden, 67'), Donovan, Turner; Rocha, Ribeiro, Da Silva (Mendoza, 64'), Neal (c) (Matarazzo, 80'), Laryea (Hayden, 46'); Cox (Eyang, 78')
Unused Subs: Fenlason, Obekop
Goals: ORL - Cox (15'), Donovan (42') CHA - Portillo (45+5')
Yellow Cards: ORL - Turner (45', 45+3') CHA - Prince (20'), Lasso (41')
Red Cards: ORL - Turner (45+4')