After dominating much of the first half, Orlando City B (3-7-3, 12 points) conceded twice in the second half and the Young Lions fell 2-0 on the road to South Georgia Tormenta FC. OCB has lost two straight after its 3-0-1 run.
OCB made several changes to the starting lineup from Wednesday night with most of the regular starters returning. After missing the last two games, Juliano Chade returned to the net. Randy Mendoza, who played for the first team in the U.S. Open Cup Wednesday night, returned to the back four. Captain Rafael Santos returned after missing Wednesday night with an injury and Thiago Souza returned to the starting lineup after coming off the bench against FC Tucson.
The Young Lions entered this game leading the league in shots taken while Tormenta FC entered the game with a league-leading six clean sheets and was near the bottom of the table in shots. So it was no surprise that OCB got off to a fast start while the home side spent much of the first 15 minutes defending.
OCB nearly opened the scoring in the ninth minute through Santos. Leonardo Simas received the ball on the right from Ates Diouf and made a sharp pass to Rafael, who made a nicely-timed run. Despite being at a tough angle, the captain took a shot on goal which was blocked with one hand by Tormenta FC goalkeeper Pablo Jara. The ball slammed off his hand and onto the crossbar, where it deflected away from danger for the home side.
While OCB controlled the first 10 minutes of the game, Tormenta FC nearly netted an opening goal in the 14th minute. Marco Micaletto played a long ball from his own half to Alex Morrell, who beat Simas to the ball. He played the pass to the top of the six for the oncoming Mikie Rowe, who put it just wide of goal.
In the 27th minute, it appeared as though Tormenta FC had taken the lead when William Antley dribbled into the box and laid it off for Dalton Pando. The midfielder’s first touch was over the hand of Chade and bounced off the crossbar, allowing OCB to clear.
Just as they did two weeks ago in Tucson, the Young Lions came out of the half with some bad defensive mistakes. Less than 10 minutes into the second half, that defending cost OCB the opening goal. A poor back pass went out of play, giving Tormenta FC a corner kick. The ball reached Joshua Phelps at the back post, who headed it down, forcing Chade into a great save. The ball popped out in front of goal where Rowe headed it back on target. Chade made another fantastic save but, once again, it came out to Rowe it knocked it in for the game’s opening goal.
In the 61st minute, Tormenta FC nearly doubled its lead through Phelps. Charlie Dennis sent another corner kick into the box where Daltyn Knutson headed it back across goal. The tall Phelps rose over the OCB defense and headed it on goal, where it bounced off the crossbar before Chade was able to collect.
OCB’s best opportunity to equalize came in the 79th minute. Second-half substitute Tresor Mbuyu played Mendoza to the left and took off toward goal. Mendoza played it across for William Bagrou but Jara came off his line to punch it out. The ball rolled right to Mbuyu, who had an open goal but hit the shot over the crossbar.
Tormenta FC doubled its lead in the 86th minute, putting the game away. A quick one-two between Alex Morrell and Yaw Amankwa allowed Morrell to get into the box. Mendoza got back into position but slipped, allowing Morrell enough space to shoot. The shot beat Chade to his near post, doubling the lead for the hosts.
While OCB was strong in the first half, dominating possession and not allowing many chances for the opposition, defensive struggles reared their head in the second 45 minutes. It was a problem that plagued the team in its 2-2 draw at FC Tucson two weeks ago and likely cost the team two points tonight.
After playing two games this week, OCB will have a full week to prepare before the Young Lions head to Michigan to take on Lansing Ignite FC looking to end their two-game losing streak.