Orlando City B (3-14-4, 13 points) fell for the fifth straight game as the Young Lions lost 3-0 to Lansing Ignite FC. Two early goals by the hosts put the Young Lions behind with the nail in their coffin coming late in the second half.
OCB Interim Head Coach Roberto Sibaja made multiple changes to the team that lost 1-0 to Forward Madison FC last weekend in Wisconsin. Juliano Chade returned to goal in place of Christian Herrera. Matheus Silva was out of the lineup for the second time since April 14, replaced by Brandon John. Leonardo Simas spent the game on the bench — only the second time since April 5 that he’s been out of the starting lineup. Moises Tablante and Thiago Souza, two of OCB’s most dangerous attackers, returned to the starting lineup after the former came on as a substitute in Madison and the latter was left out of the team. Orlando City Academy product Jordan Bender lined up as the lone forward for the first time this season.
Just eight minutes into the game, OCB fell behind. After Chade collected the ball, he rolled it out for Serginho. The Brazilian midfielder immediately lost it as Xavier Gómez tipped the ball to Robinson Moshobane, who dribbled around Chade and put it into the empty net. It was the second quickest goal OCB has conceded this season after the Young Lions gave up a seventh-minute goal to South Georgia Tormenta FC on July 24.
Things went from bad to worse when the Young Lions conceded a second goal just six minutes later. Moshobane provided the assist this time as he took a corner from the right side of the goal. As has become a trend in recent weeks, the OCB defense left an attacker wide open at the top of the six-yard box. This time it was Elma N’For who was gifted the free chance on goal. As the OCB players looked at each other, the Lansing players headed to the corner flag to celebrate their early 2-0 lead.
The hosts nearly made it three in the 22nd minute. A long ball toward the far post found Rafael Mentzingen with no marker. The midfielder attempted to play the ball across for Pato Botello Faz, but Jordan Hill stepped in the way. The Young Lions were unable to clear but John came in and drew a foul to allow his team to clear the danger.
OCB had its best opportunity in the 40th minute through Tablante. The midfielder took on three defenders and made his way toward the end line. Finding some space, he took a quick shot, forcing Stefan Cleveland to go down to his right and make the stop.
Lansing’s first great chance of the second half came in the 65th minute. Moshobane played a beautiful ball forward for Botello Faz, who shot on goal. Chade’s two-handed block went outside the box to an oncoming Xavier Gómez. As Chade leaped backwards towards goal, the shot flew beyond his reach and slammed off his left post
In the 72nd minute, Lansing once again came inches away from a third goal. Nick Moon received the ball on the right from Gómez, playing it back to the midfielder, who continued his run. His first-touch shot was blocked by Tanner Hummel but the ball came right back to his foot. His second chance appeared headed into the low right corner of goal but Chade got down and made a fingertip save, deflecting it off the post.
In the 84th minute, the hosts finally got their third goal, putting the game away for good. A long run and some fancy footwork by Orlando City Academy product Kyle Carr allowed him enough space to play a sharp diagonal pass to Mentzingen. The midfielder used his thigh to settle the ball to the right of goal before placing it past Chade.
Moon nearly gave Lansing a fourth goal in the 90th minute. A poor clearance attempt by Hill bounced off Alex Bruce and onto the foot of Moon. He had a clear shot on goal but couldn’t lift it over Chade as the 21-year-old goalkeeper raised his arms and made the stop.
Lansing dominated OCB in every way in this game. Ignite held 60% possession and out-shot the Young Lions, 27-9. While 12 Lansing shots hit the target, only three of OCB’s did.
OCB’s mighty struggles continue with this loss. The Young Lions have now lost nine of their last 10, claiming only one point in that stretch. The three-goal loss places the team at a -21 goal differential. In its last 10 games, this young OCB team has been outscored 19-3.
Orlando City B has already been mathematically eliminated from USL League One playoff contention and is close to securing its spot at the bottom of the league. While the Young Lions sit just five points behind the Richmond Kickers, they’ve played four more games.
The Young Lions will now head into an extended break. They won’t take the field again until Aug. 16, when they host this same Lansing Ignite team at Montverde Academy.