Orlando City B was able to take advantage of opportunities and beat FC Cincinnati, 2-0 at Nippert Stadium in front of an announced attendance of 19,310. It was the third consecutive clean sheet for OCB (3-3-3, 12 points), which is unbeaten in its last four games (2-0-2) and has climbed to fifth in the USL Eastern Conference standings.
The first minute of the match was an indicator of what we were in for as Richie Laryea was whistled for a foul. There were a total of 36 fouls in the match, 21 by FC Cincinnati (2-4-3, 9 points).
Early in the match there wasn’t a flow because the referee stoppages broke up the action. But whenever Pierre Da Silva touched the ball he was able to maneuver through people and keep possession.
OCB had opportunities in the first half, but didn’t take advantage of them. In fairness, the 5 p.m. start time may have affected the game because of shadows. Players would get down the sides, but the crosses were nowhere close to target.
The referee was the center of the action in the first half. He handed out four yellow cards, three to FC Cincinnati — much to the dismay of the home fans.
The action picked up in the second half. Cincinnati came out putting the pressure on OCB. Seb Hines unnecessarily conceded a corner in the 51st minute, but it didn’t lead to any real danger. There was never any legitimate danger for Earl Edwards Jr. throughout the match. In the 53rd minute he made a save from distance, which may have been his most difficult save of the day.
Even though Cincinnati spent the majority of the second half on the OCB side of the field, the hosts had trouble connecting on passes in the box to get good shots off. The game changed in the 75th minute when OCB broke away and Da Silva was able to draw a penalty. He went on to take the penalty and put it in the back of the net for his first goal of the season.
75’ | GOAL! Da Silva converts putting OCB ahead for the first time today.— Orlando City B (@OrlandoCityB) May 13, 2017
0-1 | CINvORL pic.twitter.com/nsFibLBaQQ
After the goal, the game opened up. Of course, Cincinnati was chasing a goal, and that opened up options for OCB. OCB should’ve had a second goal in the 85th minute, but over-passed, and Cincinnati’s goalkeeper ended up making two great saves to deny OCB. But Cincinnati couldn’t hold away the onslaught for long with Richie Laryea scoring in stoppage time.
It was a nice road win for OCB in a hostile environment. It was promising that the young Lions finished strong because it looked like they were going to let an opportunity slip away.
Orlando City B will be out of action for another two weeks. The team will be back home on May 27 to take on Charlotte.