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Orlando City B vs. North Texas SC: Final Score 4-1 as Young Lions Fall Apart After Scoring First

After taking the lead early in the second half, OCB conceded four unanswered goals, resulting in a 4-1 loss to North Texas SC.

Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Orlando City B (0-5-2, 2 points) took the lead for the third time this season but four unanswered goals saw North Texas SC (5-0-0, 15 points) defeat the Young Lions, 4-1 at Toyota Stadium. William Bagrou gave OCB the lead just after the break but for the third time the Young Lions couldn’t hold their advantage this season and North Texas completely dominated after falling behind.

OCB displayed the same back five as the past few weeks but saw some changes in the lineup. Team captain Koby Osei-Wusu was given a rest, starting the game on the bench, while Austin Amer and Rafael Santos entered the starting lineup. Bagrou, who was out for three weeks with a concussion before returning for the second half of last week’s match, got the start as well.

It was a weakened North Texas team today that OCB faced. In addition to Ricardo Pepi being with the U.S. U-17 national team, Brandon Servania and Thomas Roberts were with the first team, FC Dallas, which took on the New York Red Bulls on the same field earlier in the day.

The chances started early in this game as both teams nearly took the lead in the first five minutes. Three minutes in, North Texas SC’s Arturo Rodriguez played a free kick across the box for Oscar Romero, whose diving header went just wide of Juliano Chade’s right post. A minute later, a pass from Callum Montgomery to goalkeeper Kyle Zobeck sailed over his head and nearly into the North Texas net, but Zobeck was able to clear it out of play.

North Texas dominated the early going of this one, mainly because of the play of Rodriguez, Romero, and Tanner Tressmann. A pair of free kicks and a shot by Tressmann all threatened to give the hosts the lead inside the first 15 minutes but OCB escaped.

The best chances for the Young Lions came from Bagrou. In the 24th minute, Moises Tablante found Bagrou moving toward the near post but the forward’s foot slipped, resulting in a weak shot at Zobeck. Seven minutes later, Bagrou received the ball in the North Texas box and shielded well to maintain possession. Turning the defender, he got a shot toward the goal but it rolled just wide of the far post.

OCB came out flying in the second half and was the first to get on the board. Within a minute of the restart, Thiago De Souza found space for a nice run and got the first shot off of the half. Two minutes later, Santos played a low ball across for Bagrou who put it away for the opening goal. It was the Young Lions’ third lead of the season.

The goal broke a 282-minute scoreless streak and a 348-minute scoreless streak from open play. Additionally, it was Bagrou’s first goal of the season, joining Osei-Wusu and Ates Diouf as the only OCB players to score this season.

As in those matches in which OCB had previously taken the lead, the game turned following OCB’s goal. North Texas began to dominate possession and had the majority of chances for the remainder of the game. Rodriguez, Romero, and Johan Gomez began to create chances for the home side and second-half substitute Ronaldo Damus caused trouble in OCB’s defending third.

North Texas finally broke through in the 69th minute when Tressmann scored the equalizer. Bryan Reynolds centered a ball for Romero who quickly played Tressmann through. The midfielder put it into Chade’s far post for the goal.

The hosts nearly took the lead in the 71st minute when poor defending allowed Rodriguez to slice through the OCB back line but Damus attempted to finish it off from an offside position.

Six minutes later, Gomez gave the home side the lead. Quick passing spread the OCB defense and allowed Rodriguez to find Gomez in free space. With no defenders around him, the 17-year-old fired the ball over a sliding Chade and into the OCB goal for the lead.

Despite taking the lead, North Texas didn’t let off the gas. In the 85th minute, Damus got into the box and collided with Randy Mendoza. While it didn’t appear as though there was enough contact to cause a penalty, referee Reyna Fonseca pointed to the spot. Rodriguez stepped to the penalty spot and sent Chade the wrong way, giving North Texas the 3-1 lead.

Just a minute later, Rodriguez recorded his second assist of the game as he was sent into space by Damus. Rodriguez’s first touch was back across the box where Damus was in a foot race with the OCB defender, beating him to the ball and putting it past Chade, making it 4-1 to the home side.

Just as Bagrou returned from injury and scored his first goal of the season, he may be sidelined again as he came off in the 52nd minute with a hamstring injury. That’s a tough blow to a team that is already missing Diouf with back issues.

This is the third time that OCB has gotten the lead in a game, with the other two coming at home against South Georgia Tormenta FC and Forward Madison FC. In the three games in which the team has taken the lead, the Young Lions have been dominated for the remainder of the game. The only game in which they had a lead and took away a point was against Tormenta FC, which saw the visiting team score in the final moments.

This is OCB’s fifth loss in seven games with the team remaining in last place in USL League One with two points. Now they return home to face Toronto FC II Friday night at Montverde Academy.