Orlando City B drew 1-1 with the Harrisburg City Islanders in Harrisburg, PA, on a dramatic late goal by defender Zach Carroll. It was a game that appeared to be lost by the Lions (1-3-2, 5 points) as they dominated large parts of the game, but a stoppage-time goal salvaged a point. It was OCB’s first point against Harrisburg (2-1-1, 7 points) after dropping both meetings against the City Islanders last year.
While OCB dominated in first-half possession, there were few chances for either team. The primary takeaway from the first half was the departure of first-team defender PC. The Brazilian, who joined the Lions this season from the Tampa Bay Rowdies, went down and received treatment in the 40th minute with an injury to his lower back. After attempting to continue playing, the defender went down again four minutes later and was removed from the game.
The second half of the game saw better chances for both teams, with both having very close chances at times during the final 45 minutes. In the 57th minute, Hadji Barry sent a ball into the box from the left. Richie Laryea got a small piece of the ball but not enough to be considered dangerous. However, a poor clearance resulted in Laryea getting another opportunity. This time, the ball slipped through the legs of Islanders goalkeeper Brandon Miller and inched toward the goal line. Miller quickly pounced on the ball as it spun right on the line, pulling it back before it could fully cross.
The Lions nearly opened the scoring again in the 65th minute. This time Pierre Da Silva found himself with space down the left and sent the ball into the box for Barry, who had been left unmarked. As the ball approached Barry, he geared up to slam the ball into the back of the net. However, the young striker got under the ball and it sailed high over the goal.
The final 15 minutes were largely dominated by the home side, which started in the 75th minute when former Lion Johnny Mendoza found himself with space in front of goal. His shot on goal was deflected and Edwards collected, avoiding any damage.
The apparent winner came for the Islanders in the 78th minute. As Paul Wilson dribbled into the box, his shot ricocheted off the post and out for a goal kick. But after the referee consulted his assistant, it was decided that Wilson had been taken down in the box and a penalty was awarded. The ensuing penalty was converted by Tiago Calvano, giving the Islanders the goal advantage.
With a goal advantage, the Islanders were happy to let time run down and escape the game with a 1-0 victory. But in injury time, the Lions got another chance. Barry played the ball back to Laryea just outside the box and he was subsequently taken down by James Thomas, resulting in a free kick. The set piece from Da Silva was flicked on off the foot of Jordan Schweitzer and found Zach Carroll, who slammed it into the back of the net for the equalizing goal.
Despite dominating possession throughout the game, it appeared as though the young Lions had dropped all three points in Central Pennsylvania, but the late strike by Carroll allowed the purple-clad team to escape with a point. The draw puts OCB on five points, which places the team in ninth in the USL’s Eastern Conference. The Lions will stay in Pennsylvania, facing the Bethlehem Steel in their next match Sunday evening to conclude the three-game road trip.
Starting XI: Edwards; Jules, Carroll, Pereira, PC (Martz, 45’); Sane (Dikwa, 81’), Clowes, Rocha (Schweitzer, 46’), Da Silva; Laryea, Barry
Unused Subs: Fenlason, Donovan, Gallardo, Polk
Goals: OCB – Carroll (90’) HAR – Calvano (80’, pen)
Yellow Cards: ORL – Sane (9’), Martz (45’) HAR – Thomas (90’)