Orlando City B (0-4-1, 1 point) traveled to Texas this evening where the Young Lions fell 1-0 to North Texas SC (3-0-0). The difference in this one was an own goal by Matheus Silva as the Young Lions dropped their fourth in five games.
OCB Head Coach Fernando Jose De Argila Irurita made a pair of changes from the team’s loss to Forward Madison FC last week. Midfielder Jordan Bender, who has been suffering from an ankle injury, replaced Steven Hernandez, while Moises Tablante came into the lineup for the injured forward Ates Diouf.
The Young Lions came out strong in this one, dominating possession in the first 10 minutes. Most of the play went through Tablante on the left side with the 17-year-old having multiple opportunities on goal. He nearly opened the scoring in the 18th minute but his shot from just outside of the box rattled the outside netting.
While it took the home side some time to get into the game, North Texas soon took control, forcing OCB goalkeeper Juliano Chade into multiple diving saves. Most of their opportunities came from free kicks near the box or corner kicks following Chade saves. In the 34th minute, Dante Sealy received a ball across the field and nearly got a shot on goal but Leonardo Simas made a nice defensive play to clear the danger. On the ensuing corner, North Texas SC nearly took the lead again when Chade come out to punch a corner but was beaten to the ball by Brecc Evans. The defender’s header just cleared the bar, allowing OCB to escape the situation without harm.
The home team finally took the lead in the 42nd minute, though it was due to a poor defensive effort by OCB. Thomas Roberts sent a low corner kick toward the near post, where OCB defender Matheus Silva was battling with Alfusainey Jatta. The ball went through the legs of Silva, bouncing off of the inside of his leg, and into the far corner of the goal.
Despite being down a goal, OCB was unable to wrestle possession away from North Texas FC. The hosts nearly doubled their lead in the 64th minute when a lovely one-two between Arturo Rodriguez and Brandon Servania freed Rodriguez on goal. Chade was quick with his decision to come off his line to make the stop and keep the OCB deficit at one.
North Texas SC nearly scored again in the 75th minute when Rodriguez set up Tanner Tessmann near the penalty spot. The shot by Tessmann forced Chade into another diving save but the ball went to Rodriguez, who played it across for a wide open Oscar Romero. Fortunately for OCB, Romero was offside, allowing the Young Lions to escape the situation unscathed.
The final 10 minutes looked similar to the first 10 with OCB controlling possession and creating chances on goal. Sebastian Joffre had some dangerous free kick opportunities but drove them straight into the wall. Both Austin Amer and Tablante found themselves near goal in the closing minutes but were unable to put the ball on target.
Despite the loss, there are some positives to take from this game. Tablante and Simas both looked good throughout most of the game and Chade made some terrific saves once again. While poorly timed runs have been a problem or OCB this season, ending dangerous scoring opportunities. With both Will Bagrou and Diouf out due to injury, the Young Lions were not caught offside once in this game.
In the end, the result of this game came down to converting chances on goal. Despite conceding the majority of possession, OCB out-shot its opponent 17-12 overall and 9-4 in the second half. However, only two of those 17 shots were on target. OCB missing its two top forwards is what tilted this result in favor of North Texas SC.
Having taken only one point from five games, OCB will return home Friday night as the Young Lions welcome Chattanooga Red Wolves SC to Montverde Academy.