Orlando City B (1-9-3, 6 points) dropped its sixth straight game tonight, falling 2-0 to FC Tucson (6-6-4, 22 points) on the road. The Young Lions were dominated in the second half and held scoreless for the fifth time in six games. Joshua Coan scored both goals for Tucson.
OCB sent a small team to Arizona for this game. Injuries this season have caused some players to sit out, including Mateo Rodas, Raul Aguilera, and Nick O’Callaghan. Additionally, midfielder Moises Tablante was suspended for this game after being given two yellow cards in Richmond. For these reasons, the Young Lions had only four players on the bench, including backup goalkeeper Russell Robles.
The first half was filled with poor shots by both teams with most missing well wide of the target. The first good chance of the game came for OCB when Jonathan Rosales sent a cross into the six-yard box. Aleksandar Gluvacevic got his head to the ball but hit it just wide of the far post.
Three minutes later, FC Tucson had an opportunity at goal. The hosts’ primary playmaker on the night, Charlie Dennis, found Coan at the near post. The substitute — who came on due to an early injury for Tucson — fired on goal but hit the side netting. Even if the narrow-angled shot had been on target, it appeared as though OCB goalkeeper Austin Aviza would’ve been there to make the stop.
It seemed as though this game was destined to enter the halftime break scoreless but Tucson struck with the last kick of the ball. Three minutes into injury time, Giovanni Godoy received a long ball from Jordan Pena. His pass to Dennis was quickly moved along to Coan. The early substitute’s first touch was wisely pushed to his left foot where he had enough space to curl it around Aviza for the opening goal.
The first half was pretty even with Tucson outshooting OCB just 9-7 and 3-0 in shots on target. The home side would take over in the second half, leaving no doubt as to who deserved the three points.
Tucson started quickly in the second half. After recording just nine shots in the first 45 minutes, the hosts took four shots in the first six minutes of the second half. Fortunately for OCB, only one of those was on target, a 49th-minute shot blocked by Owen Guske.
Controversy struck in the 56th minute when a giveaway by Rosales ended up with Coan. The first half goal scorer found Dennis just behind who shot on goal. The ball got behind Aviza but Guske was there to make the stop. It appeared as though the ball may have gone off Guske’s left arm and Tucson shouted for a penalty but referee Kevin Sanchez saw nothing wrong with the goal line clearance.
Another potentially key moment came in the 67th moment but there was no controversy with this one. A free kick by Dennis ended up with Samuel Biek with only Aviza in front of him but the goalkeeper made himself big and made the save. The ball bounced directly to Niall Logue, whose first touch was a shot on goal and Aviza was up to the task again making the reaction save. The second block went straight to Roberto Alarcon, who attempted to direct the ball on net but Aviza dove to his post, pushing the ball out of play.
Aviza’s final game-saving stop came in the 75th minute when a nice touch by Azaad Liadi got him behind the OCB defense. Juan Pablo Monticelli tried to pull him back but couldn’t budge the attacker. As Liadi approached the goal, Aviza came out to block the shot as it was being taken, keeping the deficit at one.
As time wound down, OCB pushed further into the attack. The Young Lions had been defending all half but needed a goal to equalize. The primary target was Wilfredo Rivera, the team’s one attacking bright spot in the game. However, pushing forward gave Tucson the ability to counter.
In the 90th minute, a turnover by Mason Lamb near the Tucson box started the break that sealed the game. Manuel Ferriol sent a long ball forward for Coan who was darting down the left. He took the ball down well and was in on goal with only Aviza to beat. With plenty of time and space, Coan drew the goalkeeper out of his net and curled it around his outstretched arm for his second goal of the game.
While the first half was quite even, the second half was all Tucson. Without some heroic goal-line defending and goalkeeping, the final score could’ve been much worse. After Tucson out-shot OCB 9-7 in the first half, the hosts out-shot the Young Lions 18-3 in the second half. Tucson ended up with seven shots on target in the 90 minutes while OCB had just one.
After breaking a nearly 510-minute goal drought in Richmond, the Young Lions were kept off the scoresheet again. OCB still has just eight goals on the season — six fewer than the next lowest number of goals.
The Young Lions won’t have much time to dwell on this loss as they take the field again Wednesday morning, facing the Richmond Kickers in Kissimmee.