Orlando City B (1-3-2, 5 points) drew 1-1 with South Georgia Tormenta FC (2-3-3, 9 points) tonight at Osceola County Stadium. It was a unique game that saw a seven-minute display of support to start, an own goal, a penalty, and a sending off.
OCB made several changes to the team that lost 3-1 to Forward Madison on Sunday. Jonathan Rosales, Thomas Williams, Adam Ozeri, Kenji Tanaka, and Teddy Ndje all entered the starting lineup. Team captain Mateo Rodas started from the bench for the first time this season. He was replaced as captain by Raul Aguilera.
The game started with a statement of unity. Tormenta FC played the opening kickoff straight out of play as all 22 players took a knee. While the Tormenta players stayed in their positions on the field, the OCB players all gathered at the center circle. As the game clock ticked to just over four minutes, the players went to the sideline and warmed back up for the start of open play. By the time OCB took the throw-in, more than seven minutes of game time had elapsed.
Shortly after open play got underway, the visitors nearly took the lead. Aguilera played a careless ball across the middle that was picked up by Pato Botello-Faz. The Tormenta striker was in on goal but Austin Aviza closed him down and blocked the shot away.
While OCB settled down following the early chance, Tormenta still had most of the dangerous chances. The visitors nearly scored again in the 23rd minute when Marco Micaletto sent a great ball across the face of goal. Botello-Faz ran onto it inside the six with nobody in front of goal but his touch was wide and OCB escaped a second dangerous situation.
Tormenta FC got on the board first in the 30th minute but it was OCB that scored. Placed under pressure, Thomas Williams chipped the ball back to Aviza. The OCB goalkeeper took his eye off the ball just long enough for it to roll under his foot for an own goal.
GOAL | We're up 1-0 after a mistake from @OrlandoCityB!— Tormenta FC (@Tormenta_FC) August 28, 2020
After you enjoy the video, find out how you can register to vote in your state: https://t.co/ghBJIcMfLA@DurrenceChevy | #ORLvTRM pic.twitter.com/jaEly65XNC
The game took a drastic turn in the 61st minute. Wilfredo Rivera’s cross was knocked down by Joshua Phelps but referee Johan Fredrik Roenning determined that the ball came off the defender’s hand. In addition to pointing to the spot, Roenning issued Phelps his second yellow of the game. Aguilera stepped to the spot and put the penalty in off of Tormenta goalkeeper Pablo Jara’s hand and the bottom of the crossbar.
“I thought that for me the most important thing was bailing my teammates out,” Aguilera said after the match. “Obviously we had a mistake in goal but it was my opportunity to kind of bail him out and get us back in the game. That’s all it was in my mind when I took the penalty kick. I felt good, it’s always good to get your professional goal, I wish the result would’ve been a little better but I’m happy to get on the score sheet.”
Despite being a man up, OCB didn’t have many quality chances until the dying moments. With eight minutes remaining, a blocked shot found Mason Lamb in front of goal. The midfielder’s shot was blocked by a diving one-handed save by Jara.
Five minutes later, Michael Halliday took a shot toward the far post from the right of goal. The ball rolled just wide and hit another ball that was on the field of play. Rather than bouncing back into the goal, it rolled out for a goal kick.
Lamb then nearly scored the winner when Jara came far out of his goal for a clearance. From about 30 yards out, Lamb shot at the open net but it went wide of the goal — the second time in the game that Lamb nearly scored.
The game ended with a little bit of controversy as OCB looked to break out after clearing the ball out of their own end. Moises Tablante received it near midfield with only two defenders back but the referee blew his whistle, ending the game as a 1-1 draw.
OCB was able to gain a lot more possession after going up a man with 27 minutes left. The game ended with the teams nearly even in possession. After just six shots in the first half, the two teams combined for 18 in the second half. OCB ended up out-shooting its guests 16-8 in the 90 minutes. Four of those 16 shots by OCB were on target while two of the eight by Tormenta FC were on the frame.
““Once again in the first 45 minutes we couldn’t connect passes, we weren’t organized, and then the second half was all ours,” said OCB Head Coach Marcelo Neveleff. “I think we should have won the game.”
“I think one of the issues that we have been having is playing consistently for 90 minutes,” Aguilera said “I think that we put ourselves in a position where we are always fighting from behind and I think it’s something that if we want to compete for three points I think it’s something that we need to fix.”
It will be another short week for OCB as the Young Lions will return to action again next Thursday night when they host North Texas SC.