It was a tough night for Orlando City B (1-2-1, 4 points) as the Young Lions fell 4-1 to FC Tucson (2-3-0, 6 points) at Osceola County Stadium. Two goals by Azaad Liadi and a goal and two assists by Shak Adams lifted the visitors to a four-goal first half.
“I think we gave away 45 minutes,” OCB Head Coach Marcelo Neveleff said. “It was a fight they gave us for those and their work is done. Second half was better, but it was too late to get back at a three-goal deficit.”
Neveleff was happy with the team that drew Fort Lauderdale 1-1 Friday night, bringing back the entire starting lineup. The only change on the bench was the addition of Kenji Tanaka, who scored in the team’s win over New England Revolution II two weeks ago.
The Young Lions had plenty of possession in this game but FC Tucson was the team that got off to a fast start. In the sixth minute, a strong ball on the ground from Charlie Dennis found Liadi splitting the OCB defense. With only the goalkeeper to beat, he calmly slipped it past Austin Aviza for the opening goal.
In the 17th minute, OCB found the equalizer when Moises Tablante carried the ball into the box. Beating two defenders, he attempted to find a cross but was taken down by Esteban Calvo, resulting in a penalty. OCB captain Mateo Rodas stepped up and, despite Carlos Merancio guessing the right way, slammed it through for the equalizing goal.
It looked like the Young Lions had found their form but it went downhill from there.
Just three minutes later, FC Tucson regained the lead when a beautiful ball by Adams found the foot of Roberto Alarcon. The midfielder’s first touch was a volley toward the corner of the goal. Aviza couldn’t get to it and the visitors were back on top.
In the 26th minute, Liadi got his second of the game and it was much of his own creation. After receiving the ball from Adams with his back to goal, the forward flicked the ball around Thomas Williams, creating a one-on-one chance against the goalkeeper. Another calm finish saw the striker with his second goal in just 20 minutes.
FC Tucson made it a three-goal difference in the 41st minute when, after two assists, Adams got one for himself. Alarcon’s ball into the box was deflected by Raul Aguilera, allowing it to find Adams near goal. The midfielder made no mistake with it, touching it by Michael Halliday and past Aviza for the fourth goal for the visitors.
“We gave up two goals in the first half from specific moments that were avoidable mistakes,” Rodas said after the match.
After an aggressive and high-scoring first half, neither team was able to create much in the second half. FC Tucson tried to break the OCB defense early on with through balls but the purple back line was able to step up together as Adams and Liadi both were ruled offside.
The two teams combined for 15 shots in the first half but only six in the second half. The efficiency for FC Tucson was impressive, especially in the first half. In the first 45 minutes, the visitors took seven shots, with six on target, and scored four goals. In the second half, Tucson was held to two shots with one on target.
OCB controlled more possession and out-shot their opponents in this one but those two stats didn’t mean much. While they had 54% possession and out-shot Tucson 13-9, only two of the Young Lions’ shots were on target. None of those 13 shots troubled the FC Tucson goalkeeper, with their only goal coming from a penalty.
“Obviously it’s not the result we wanted, especially at home,” Rodas said. “We need to work on that, but for me personally obviously it’s a big satisfaction to get my first goal.”
This ends a two-game home stand which saw the Young Lions only take one point, snapping a modest 1-0-1 unbeaten run. They’ll take the field again next Sunday evening when they travel north to take on Forward Madison.