Orlando City B’s winless and scoreless streaks extended to three matches with a 0-0 home draw against New England Revolution II at Exploria Stadium, but the Young Lions (1-2-2, 7 points) captured the extra point for winning the postgame shootout over the Revolution reserves (2-0-2, 9 points).
It was a good result for an OCB side that not only got outplayed, but also went down a man with more than 20 minutes remaining in normal time.
“A big effort from the players, I’m proud of them,” OCB Head Coach Martin Perelman said. “We played against a very good team, but we worked hard. I think we could have won, but that’s okay because they did their jobs and finally we got the two points.”
Javier Otero started in goal behind a back line of Liam Guske, David Boccuzzo, and Andrew Forth. Nick Taylor and Victor Yan lined up as wingbacks on the outside, with Diego Pareja and Erick Gunera-Calix inside in the 3-4-3 formation. Moises Tablante, Wilfredo Rivera, and Neicer Acosta made up the attacking force.
The first decent chance of the game fell for New England Revolution II, as a ball from the left found Jack Panayotou near Otero’s left post, but the shot was just wide of goal.
The Young Lions nearly got a gift goal in the 14th minute. Rivera played Taylor into the box and Sean O’Hearn swept it away from him but towards his own goal. Jacob Jackson had to be alert to make the save and avoid an own goal.
OCB had a good spell of possession around the 25-minute mark but couldn’t generate a chance out of it. The Young Lions also had some counter opportunities but wasted them with extremely heavy touches out on the wings. Tablante fired in two crosses right at Jackson, which prevented scoring opportunities as well.
New England sent some dangerous crosses into Otero’s box but struggled to get onto them at the end. Meny Silva came the closest but bundled a chance wide. OCB’s high line also baffled the visitors, who were offside seven times in the opening half.
Otero came up with a huge save in first-half stoppage time to keep the game scoreless. OCB turned the ball over on a throw-in in its own half and New England countered quickly. The ball ended up on Panayotou’s foot in the middle of the box and he smashed the game’s first shot on target. Otero made the stop and then knocked a longer shot aside on the ensuing rebound. Before the Revs could take the resulting corner kick, the half ended.
New England led all over the stat sheet, with more possession (53.4%-46.6%), shots (7-2), shots on target (2-0), corners (5-0), and passing accuracy (82.6%-76%).
Acosta smashed a left-footed shot on target in the first minute of the second half, providing the first on-target attempt for OCB in the game, but Jackson saved comfortably.
New England started taking more long shot attempts and came close several times. Ryan Lima smashed an effort that Otero got a fingertip on in the 53rd minute. O’Hearn smashed a long-range shot over the bar from the right three minutes later. Seconds after that, Otero again got a fingertip to a Trevor Zwetsloot long-range try to keep things scoreless.
Noel Buck sent a drive off the right goalpost in the 60th minute as the Revs kept firing.
OCB went down a man in the 68th minute when Erick Gunera-Calix received his second yellow card in nine minutes. It was the second time in just five matches that OCB has finished with fewer than 11 men on the pitch.
“We knew that we had to stay together and just keep digging deep, and I think we did a great job,” Boccuzzo said.
On the ensuing free kick that New England won from the foul, Buck sent a drive on goal but Otero made a diving save. Silva just missed a follow-up shot wide of the right post from the left side of the box.
Hikaru Fujiwara sent a shot over the bar in the 80th minute as the Revs kept looking for the opener. Buck sent a header wide off a corner kick cross moments later. As the Revs kept pushing for a late winner, Triton Beauvois missed the net wide in the 83rd minute.
New England got some fortunate bounces late that turned into chances to win the match, as the visitors got the ball behind Otero twice. But OCB’s defense made two goal-line clearances in stoppage time to preserve the scoreless draw at the end of regulation. The match went to spot kicks to determine which team would win the extra point.
The Revs stuffed the stat sheet, dominating statistically. New England finished with more shots (20-3), shots on target (6-1), possession (56.1%-43.9%), corners (11-2), and passing accuracy (81.7%-73.3%).
“It was a tough 90 minutes, especially with the red card,” Boccuzzo said. “But I think we did well, especially in the first half. I think we really fought that game.”
OCB won the shootout 4-3 after the five rounds. New England shot first and O’Hearn missed high over Otero’s crossbar. Boccuzzo scored on his penalty to put OCB up after one round. Fortunes were reversed in the second round as Noel Buck beat Otero and Acosta then took a stutter-step run-up and left his penalty too close to the middle, making an easy save for Jackson. The teams were level at 1-1 after two rounds.
Ben Reveno gave New England its first lead in the shootout with the next spot kick, but Tablante matched him. Pierre Cayet then sent his shot well over the bar, putting OCB in the driver’s seat. Theo Franca scored to put OCB up 3-2 after four rounds.
Fujiwara scored for the Revs to keep New England in it, but Alejandro Granados buried his spot kick as the fifth shooter to lift OCB to the extra point after a 4-3 shootout win.
“Today in the shootout we put Franca, who is a U-15, Granados, who is a U-17, and we are giving our players experience that is so great for them,” Perelman said. “I’m really happy for them.”
OCB now goes back on the road, where the Young Lions will face last place Rochester NY FC on Friday night.