Orlando City B broke its USL record six-game draw streak while extending its undefeated streak to eight by beating the Richmond Kickers 1-0 behind a Hadji Barry strike.
Despite surrendering most of the possession of the game to the home side, OCB saw the best opportunities throughout the game. Both teams were able to get the final ball into the box, but most were just out of reach of the strikers.
The first good chance of the game came for OCB and the young Lions didn’t squander it. With some nifty moves, Pierre Da Silva was able to shake Samuel Asante to get to the end line in the 24th minute. Evan Lee attempted to clear the cross but mishit it directly to the feet of Barry. The striker controlled the ball and put his second touch into the far corner to give the visitors the early lead.
They say you’re most vulnerable right after you score and OCB proved that to be true. Less than a minute after the Lions scored, Raul Gonzalez found himself inside the box with space and fired on goal. However, Earl Edwards, Jr. was able to palm the shot up in the air and catch it to avoid any further danger.
OCB nearly doubled the lead in the 43rd minute when Austin Martz made a nice, long run down the right. His cross was looking for an oncoming Lewis Neal but it was just beyond the captain’s reach and went out of play for a Richmond goal kick.
While both teams saw chances in the second half, there was no stress for either goalkeeper as each shot was off target. The final 20 minutes were dominated by the Kickers, who were searching for an equalizer but were unable to get any shots on target. In the end, OCB was able to hold on.
First-team right back Rafael Ramos started the game and played the first 45 minutes. He was replaced by Zach Ellis-Hayden at halftime but played very well throughout the first half. It’s a good sign for a player that has been hindered by injury throughout his time at the club.
In injury time, OCB center back Zach Carroll went down in the box. After play stopped due to a foul, the referee consulted with his fourth official and gave Carroll a red card for apparently entering the field of play before being waved on by the referee. Carroll had previously been booked in the 28th minute for a professional foul, so was issued his second yellow and was sent off. The red card will result in Carroll missing OCB’s game Wednesday night against the Ottawa Fury.
The win by OCB moves the team closer to making the playoffs for the second consecutive year. With 28 points, the young Lions are tied with New York Red Bulls II with a game in hand. The young Lions will take the field again Wednesday night when they host the Ottawa Fury at Orlando City Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
Starting XI: Earl Edwards, Jr.; Rafael Ramos (Zach Ellis-Hayden, 46’), Kevin Alston (Scott Thomsen, 60’), Seb Hines, Zach Carroll; Tony Rocha, Austin Martz, Paul Clowes, Lewis Neal, Pierre Da Silva; Hadji Barry (Michael Cox, 77’).
Unused Subs: Jake Fenlason, Conor Donovan, Joe Gallardo, Jordan Schweitzer.
Goals: ORL – Barry (24’).
Yellow Cards: ORL –Carroll (28’, 90+2’), Rocha (54’) RIC – Asante (40’), Tayou (71’), Fernando (74’), Yomby (81’), Sekyere (85’).
Red Cards: ORL – Carroll (90+2’).