Orlando City B (3-18-4, 13 points) took its first lead in over three months but was unable to hold on, losing 3-2 to Toronto FC II on a late own goal from Tanner Hummel. The game featured a penalty kick goal for each side but ultimately the Young Lions found yet another way to lose, falling for the ninth consecutive match.
OCB made a few changes to the lineup from the team that lost 3-1 to North Texas SC last weekend. Continuing the strategy of rotating goalkeepers, Julinao Chade returned to the net, replacing Christian Herrera. Austin Amer and Rafael Santos also returned to the starting lineup, replacing Ates Diouf and Serginho.
The Young Lions nearly took the lead in the eighth minute from a Lucas Ontivero corner kick. The curling ball was cleared off the line by Patrick Bunk-Andersen but found Brandon John. The center back, who scored and hit the post with a header against North Texas last week, had another chance but it went just over the crossbar.
In the 12th minute, Toronto had its first great chance. Jordan Faria’s cross was looking for Jordan Perruzza but it was too far. Mehdi Essoussi sent it back in to a wide open Perruzza but he skied it over the crossbar.
Five minutes later, Chade was asked to come up with his first big save. Essoussi sent the ball across the field to a wide open Faria. The midfielder’s second touch was a low shot on goal but Chade got down to make the block, keeping the game scoreless.
The hosts nearly took the lead in the 20th minute when John took down Perruzza just outside of the box. Faria took the free kick, which beat a diving Chade and slammed off the post. Somehow, Chade was able to quickly return to his feet in time to save the follow-up shot by Griffin Dorsey.
Two minutes after Toronto hit the post, OCB converted on the game’s opening goal. From a still position, Leonardo Simas sent the ball forward toward Ontivero, who was making a run. The Argentine midfielder spun the defender to create some space and took a shot on goal. Toronto goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky dove to his right but the hard shot got behind him and into the far corner to make it 1-0.
The goal gave the Young Lions their first lead in a game since June 7 when Rafael Santos scored in the 23rd minute against Forward Madison FC at Montverde Academy.
Toronto nearly responded seven minutes later when a Dorsey shot took a short hop on Chade. The ball fell to Perruzza who was coming in looking for a rebound. He got his foot on it but Chade was once again up to the challenge, making the point-blank save and maintaining the OCB lead.
OCB’s fortune ran out in the 38th minute. Gideon Waja played Perruzza through on goal but Chade came out, making himself big, to make the stop. The block by Chade bounced off of Jordan Hill’s arm and the referee pointed to the spot. Despite protests from OCB players, referee Brad Doubrough gave a penalty to the hosts.
Toronto’s leading goal scorer, Perruzza stepped up to take the penalty. Chade dove to his left but Perruzza sent the ball softly down the middle and into the back of the net for the equalizer.
Early into the second half, OCB nearly got the lead back. Ontivero sent Granitur through on goal, with the teenager getting behind the Toronto defense. Granitur’s first touch was a shot on goal but Klenofsky struck his foot out, making the kick save.
Four minutes after OCB nearly took the lead, Toronto capitalized. Faria sent a low, hard cross into the box. Perruzza and Simas attacked the ball with the Toronto striker getting to it first. As both players went to the ground, Perruzza’s slight touch was enough to get it past Chade and into the corner, giving the Reds the 2-1 lead.
OCB players and coaches were unhappy with the penalty awarded to Toronto in the first half but the Young Lions got one of their own in the 69th minute. Quick passes by Serginho and Santos allowed the latter to play William Bagrou through. The OCB striker went down and the referee pointed to the spot, providing the Young Lions with a golden opportunity to equalize.
After a brief conversation between the referee and his assistant, Thiago Souza stepped up to take the kick. Klenofsky guessed the right way, diving to his right, but Souza’s shot was into the upper corner of the goal to tie it at 2-2 in the 71st minute.
As expected, Toronto was back on the attack after the goal. The Reds nearly took the lead back in the 77th minute through Jayden Nelson. The teenage midfielder took advantage of the space provided and shot from the top of the box. The curling shot appeared to be headed toward the bottom far corner of the goal but Chade came up with another great diving save.
Eight minutes later, the Brazilian goalkeeper wasn’t as fortunate. Tipping the ball around and then past Sozua, Nelson reached the end line and played the ball across the six-yard box. Luca Petrasso and Hummel advanced toward the goal, both trying to win the ball. As it crossed the goal line, OCB defenders lifted their arms, hoping for an offside. Petrasso ran off claiming the goal but it was ruled to have gone in off of Hummel for an own goal for the final tally.
In addition to it being OCB’s ninth straight loss, it was the team’s 13th in the last 14 games. This one will be the most difficult to accept as it was the closest the Young Lions have come to winning in three months. The fact that the deciding goal was scored on themselves will only worsen the feeling.
Despite the three goals conceded, it was an excellent performance by Chade, who was credited with nine saves. The Brazilian moves into second in the league for saves with 66, two behind Chattanooga’s Alexander Mangels.
OCB’s season-ending four-game road trip continues next Saturday at Chattanooga.