MONTVERDE, FL — Orlando City B (2-5-2, 8 points) found its way to its second win in a row by defeating the Richmond Kickers, 3-2 at Montverde Academy. The Young Lions took a 2-0 lead in the first half on goals by Moises Tablante and Serginho, but were forced to win it late on a Thiago Souza penalty.
OCB sent out the same lineup for the second consecutive game after defeating Toronto FC II 2-0 with it Friday night. Notable in this game was the return of four former Lions with Richmond. Former OCB players Scott Thomsen and Joe Gallardo got the start for the Kickers, as did Orlando City Academy product Eli Lockaby and club legend Dennis Chin.
OCB got off to its fastest start of the season, scoring just four minutes in through Tablante. Five days after scoring a Goal-of-the-Week-nominated strike, he was at it again. Receiving the ball at the top of the box, the midfielder hit a hard, low shot toward Akira Fitzgerald’s far post. It was Tablante’s second goal of the season and gave the Young Lions the early lead.
Here's a look on that Moises Tablante strike that has OCB up 1-0. pic.twitter.com/VrDXSm4ynf— Austin David (@AustinDavid22) May 22, 2019
“Because we are a very intense team, we go hard and press in the beginning,” OCB Head Coach Fernando Jose De Argila Irurita said after the game. “We knew that they had three games in seven days and played with the same players in those three games. So we went hard in the beginning, high pressing, to get something in the beginning.”
“Fernando is always asking us to go high pressing in certain times of the game,” Serginho added. “When the team is pumped up to play, the press is going to happen even better.”
The home side nearly doubled its lead in the 25th minute when Tablante made a run into the box and played the ball for forward William Bagrou, but he put the shot just wide. Two minutes later, the Young Lions did double their lead through a wonder goal by Serginho. The midfielder fired from long distance, knocking the shot off the post and in for the second goal of the game.
OCB double their lead as Serginho strikes a beauty from distance in the 27th minute. 2-0 to OCB. pic.twitter.com/M2pqkyxui8— Austin David (@AustinDavid22) May 23, 2019
“I’ve been training that type of shot,” Serginho said about his goal. “And today I’m happy that I scored that goal during a game.”
OCB nearly got a third in the 29th minute when Randy Mendoza played the ball for Bagrou, but this time the forward hit the post.
In the 35th minute, one of the former Lions cut the OCB lead in half. Lockaby pulled a goal back against his hometown club, playing the ball through the legs of goalkeeper Juliano Chade.
Richmond pulls one back and it's the local kid @EliLockaby17 with the finish between Juliano Chade's legs. About half the crowd erupted in cheers as he scored. His first USL League One goal. (Scored one in the U.S. Open Cup) pic.twitter.com/G8IKcRjuCK— Austin David (@AustinDavid22) May 23, 2019
Richmond carried its momentum from late in the first half into the second half, resulting in multiple opportunities. In the 62nd minute, Chin had a chance from just outside the box but Chade palmed it over the crossbar. Five minutes later, Richmond nearly equalized again but Chade was up to the task.
The Kickers finally scored the equalizer in the 81st minute. Making a nice run down the right, Matthew Bolduc played a low cross through the box. Joshua Hughes beat the OCB defenders to the ball and put the first touch on goal and past Chade to tie the game.
Despite giving up the late equalizer, OCB responded well. Three minutes after conceding, Souza dribbled into the box and was driven into by Ivan Magalhaes. The referee pointed to the spot, giving OCB its third penalty in two games. As he did a week prior, Souza stepped up to the spot and put away the go-ahead goal. It was a bit of redemption for Souza, who had a partial breakaway just before the penalty but fired his shot right at the goalkeeper.
Goal! Thiago Souza hits the penalty and OCB get the lead back with just five minutes to go. 3-2 OCB. pic.twitter.com/dxQnEz62rw— Austin David (@AustinDavid22) May 23, 2019
OCB stayed on the attack following goal, attempting to keep the pressure on Richmond. As time wound down, the Young Lions were able to keep possession and secure their second straight win.
“We suffered to get this win,” Fernando said after the game. “The other team was experienced. We could’ve finished the game in the first half but we didn’t. But in the end we logged the three points and that’s the most important thing.”
“It’s really good,” the coach continued. “With a lot of personality, something we were missing in the beginning. The players finished exhausted and that is what we asked them in the beginning. After the result for us, it’s like a night with Jennifer Lopez.”
The three points pulls OCB out of the bottom of the USL League One table as the Young Lions look to build on their recent success. After two quick games, they’ll now have an extended break before traveling to face FC Tucson next weekend.