MONTVERDE, FL — Orlando City B looked to rebound coming off of a 3-1 loss in its first USL League One game, but playing most of the second half a man down, the Young Lions lost to Toronto FC II, 2-0.
The early part of the game was a duel between Toronto’s Jacob Shaffelburg and OCB’s Jordan Bender. Both players had multiple opportunities inside the first 15 minutes but neither was able to open the scoring.
The visitors nearly took the lead in the 27th minute when Shaffelburg made a long run, beating Nathan Simeon down the right. He played the ball across for Tsubosa Endoh, but the ball just missed the sliding captain.
Toronto nearly scored again in the 31st minute when Griffin Dorsey carried the ball into the box and was taken down by Emmanuel Hagan. Endoh stepped up to take the penalty, hitting it over the bar.
Early in the second half, the red card reared its head for the second consecutive week. Six days after Randy Mendoza received a straight red, Emmanuel Hagan, who had been cautioned in the 34th minute, received his second yellow as he made a tackle just outside of the box.
“Sometimes a team without experience will have these things happen because they have too much passion to play this sport,” OCB Head Coach Fernando Jose De Argila Irurita said after the game. “They don’t have the experience to control emotions.”
While Christian Herrera made a nice diving save, it was the ensuing corner that caused trouble. The corner kick was sent to the back post where an unmarked Luca Petrasso got his foot on the ball and placed it on goal. From just a few feet out, Herrera had no chance as the ball slammed into the far side netting.
With four minutes remaining, Toronto scored its second goal of the night, putting the game to bed. Jordan Perruzzo made a nice run to get some space and chipped Herrera, who had no chance to make the stop.
Late in the second half, both teams made substitutions which saw a pair of 16-year-olds enter the game. First, OCB brought in Luc Granitur for his second appearance of the season before Toronto countered with Jayden Nelson.
While Granitur added a spark last week, he was largely absent in this one. Nelson, on the other hand, was dangerous on the right, sending in several dangerous balls that could’ve resulted in goals.
“We played with 10 players for 45 minutes,” Irurita said about the team’s performance. “Toronto was a good team, they played good. We had an opportunity with 10 players but when the ball doesn’t go inside the net, the other team is going to win.”
“We’re young,” Irurita continued. “We know that and we’re gaining experience.”
This game also featured the highly anticipated debut of Bender, the 17-year-old OCSC Academy product. The midfielder played with the first team during preseason but was out last game with an ankle injury.
“I think I could’ve put a goal away, I think that matters so much,” Bender said about his performance. “If I had scored that, maybe we would’ve been on the front foot.
“As a winger, I try to be as effective and dangerous as I can. As a winger, I like to take them one-v-one, whereas in the middle, it’s more two touches and playing quickly.”
After the game, Bender, who played 73 minutes in this one, had ice wrapped around his left ankle. “I’ve got a little bit of a tweaked ankle,” Bender said. “But once I start playing, the adrenaline kind of starts to take over. I’ve just got to keep on recovering.”
The loss is OCB’s second in a row to start the 2019 USL League One season. While the Lions will be getting defender Randy Mendoza back, they’ll be losing another one in Hagan for next week’s game.
The Young Lions will take the field again next Friday night when they welcome South Georgia Tormenta to Montverde Academy and look to break the losing streak.