William Bagrou scored his second goal of the season but it wasn’t enough as Lansing Ignite FC (9-5-9, 36 points) came away with a 2-1 win over Orlando City B (3-15-4, 13 points) at Montverde Academy.
OCB made five changes to the squad two weeks after falling 3-0 in Michigan against the same opponents. Christian Herrera replaced Juliano Chade in goal. Regular starters Randy Mendoza, Serginho, and Thiago Souza were out of the lineup as well. Seventeen-year-old Orlando City Academy product Jahlane Forbes entered the starting lineup, receiving his first start of the 2019 USL League One season.
After scoring twice inside the first 15 minutes in the last meeting between the teams, Lansing nearly scored early again. In the eighth minute, quick touches by Rafael Mentzingen and Elma N’For created space for Robinson Moshobane, who had a free run on goal. Fortunately for OCB, Herrera came off his line well to make the stop.
The visitors came close again in the 17th minute. A long ball by Kevin Coiffic found Mentzingen in behind Jordan Hill. However, his touch was a little strong and Herrera came out to make the stop.
After Moshobane nearly scored in the 21st minute, Lansing finally broke through in the 22nd. Receiving the ball with Forbes on his back, N’For found Xavier Gomez in the box. OCB defender Matheus Silva attempted to clear it but it went right off the shin of Gomez, allowing him to take a second shot. The 24-year-old didn’t miss his second chance, slamming it into the OCB net.
OCB’s first good chance of the game came just after the goal. Moises Tablante played a dangerous ball toward the back post where Koby Osei-Wusu was waiting. But Lansing goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland played it well, jumping up to bring it down in midair.
The Young Lions came out of the halftime break pressing Lansing hard, attempting to force Ignite FC into a mistake. It nearly worked in the 49th minute when a poor back pass allowed Tablante to race Cleveland to the ball. Despite the midfielder getting a piece of it, Lansing was able to clear.
The visitors doubled their lead in the 54th minute. Moshobane carried the ball into the box and attempted to cross but Forbes got in the way. The deflection went right back to Moshobane who headed it across goal. Brandon John attempted to head it clear but it went right to the foot of Rafael Mentzingen, who drilled it into the net from near the penalty spot.
It appeared as though OCB was going to finish a game against Lansing scoreless yet again until Bagrou got one back. In the 72nd minute, Jose Quintero took a shot from the right of goal. Stefan Cleveland went down to block the shot, putting it at the top of the six. Bagrou and Coiffic raced toward the ball, both sliding in. Bagrou was able to get his foot on it and put it in for the Young Lions’ first goal.
The goal was the first that OCB had scored against Lansing Ignite FC this season in 252 minutes of play. The Young Lions had previously been outscored 7-0 in just short of three full meetings. It was the first goal the team had scored in 302 minutes, with the last one coming via Souza on July 24 against South Georgia Tormenta FC.
Lansing nearly got a third goal in the 84th minute. A collision between N’For and John resulted in the latter going down. That allowed N’For to get an uncontested shot on Herrera. The ball beat Herrera but not the far post as it bounced off and back into the field of play.
OCB did get an offensive push in the dying moments but was unable to threaten Cleveland. When the final whistle blew, the Young Lions had fallen yet again.
OCB played much better in the second half than it did in the first half. The Lions created more chances and looked more threatening in the final third. However, Lansing controlled much of the game. The visitors held 60% possession and out-shot the Young Lions, 13-7 (4-3 on target).
The loss continues the struggles for OCB late this season. The Young Lions have now lost six straight games and 11 of their last 12 contests. OCB will head back out on the road next weekend to face FC Tucson in Arizona for the second time this season.