Orlando City B (3-13-4, 13 points) was thoroughly dominated by Forward Madison FC tonight, as the Young Lions fell 1-0. It’s their fourth straight loss and eighth in the last nine games.
OCB entered this game with a new coach and missing a few key offensive players. Former OCB head coach Fernando Jose De Argila Irurita was dismissed following Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to South Georgia Tormenta FC and was replaced by Orlando City U-19 coach Roberto Sibaja. Tonight’s lineup was missing Serginho, who was suspended after receiving his fifth yellow card Wednesday night, and Thiago Souza, who didn’t make the trip to Wisconsin.
The Young Lions got the first attempt on goal inside the first two minutes with a header just over the crossbar, but that was their last shot of the first half. Despite holding the majority of possession in the first 45 minutes, it was all Forward Madison.
OCB’s biggest downfall in recent games has been leaving players unmarked in the box, especially on set pieces. It resulted in multiple goals Wednesday night and nearly resulted in multiple goals during this game as well.
After missing multiple chances, it appeared that the hosts would open the scoring in the 25th minute when they were awarded a penalty. Oliver White received the ball in the box and attempted to dribble inside. Matheus Silva attempted an ill-advised challenge and took down the attacker, forcing referee Laura Rodriguez to point to the spot.
Madison’s leading scorer, Don Smart, stepped up to take the kick. OCB goalkeeper Christian Herrera dove to his right while Smart’s shot went the opposite direction. Fortunately for the Young Lions, the low shot was off target and OCB survived the scare.
In the 32nd minute, it appeared that Madison had finally taken a deserved lead. Smart’s corner found the head of the unmarked J.C. Banks, who put it past Herrera and in for the opening goal. As the ball was headed in, Herrera hit the ground. The referee determined that there was a foul on the play and disallowed the goal, keeping the game scoreless.
The hosts finally broke through in the 57th minute. After receiving the ball from Smart, Josiel Núñez played it diagonally for Banks. The forward, whose first-half goal was disallowed, played a simple ball past Herrera for the game’s opening goal.
Forward Madison nearly doubled the lead in the 72nd minute. Oliver White carried the ball into the box but a heavy touch allowed Jordan Hill to clear. The clearance went right to Paulo Jr., whose second touch was a shot on goal. Herrera was able to knock the ball away but it went right to Smart to the right of goal. Smart’s quick shot was easily past Herrera, who was still on the ground, but rolled just wide of the far post.
OCB did have a pair of free kicks late with an attempt to claim an unlikely point. Rafael Santos’ first free kick in the 88th minute was on target but was caught by Madison goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair. The second came on the final touch of the game and sailed well high of the crossbar.
The Young Lions were thoroughly dominated in this game and were fortunate to only lose 1-0. While they held 62% of the possession in the first half, they ended up with only 48% possession for the game. The most telling stat was that they were out-shot 17-6 and 5-1 in shots on target. Without the missed first-half penalty by Smart and the foul on the disallowed goal, the result could’ve been much worse.
With this loss, OCB has now only picked up one point in the last nine matches. The Young Lions will once again look to end this difficult run of games when they travel to Michigan to take on Lansing Ignite FC next Saturday night.