Orlando City B (2-3-2, 10 points) dominated Inter Miami II (3-5-1, 10 points) on the way to a 6-0 win. It was the most goals that OCB has ever scored in a game, dating back to the team’s inaugural 2016 season. Jack Lynn scored a hat trick of goals and Moises Tablante had a hat trick of assists, while Wilfredo Rivera, Brandon Hackenberg, and Victor Yan added a goal apiece.
OCB Head Coach Martin Perelman made three changes to the team that lost 1-0 to Philadelphia Union II on Monday. Liam Guske and Ian Silva were replaced by Hackenberg and Lynn. Additionally, Neicer Acosta was out with a lower leg injury and was replaced in the starting lineup by Erick Gunera, who returned from suspension.
The Young Lions had the better start to the game. In the third minute, Rivera had Tablante making a run across the field. The Homegrown midfielder tried to play it over but there was too much bend on it and it went out of play for a goal kick.
Two minutes later, Rivera sent a free kick to the far side of the box for Alex Freeman. The right back headed it toward the penalty spot where Yan got his foot to the ball. But he was unable to get his body over it and the ball went well high of the goal.
That was the last play for a while as inclement weather entered the area. A brief alarm halted play. Then, after a brief consultation, referee Anya Voigt signaled for the two teams to return to their locker rooms and the game went into an extended delay of almost an hour.
“We played soccer tennis in the locker room,” Perelman said about how his team passed the time. “I played with them. So it’s funny, I liked that time.”
“I think that’s something everyone does a bit differently,” Lynn added. “You know, some people, like myself, I like to just kind of sit down and conserve energy because you don’t know how long it’s gonna be. You don’t want to burn yourself out. And then other people want to stay active and keep their energy up. So kind of an individual thing, but I think everyone managed themselves correctly. And when we came out, I think our energy levels were still high. So, that was good.”
The Young Lions didn’t let up when the game restarted. In the eighth minute, some slick dribbling by David Boccuzzo provided some space, but the ball was knocked away. However, it went right to Tablante, who found Lynn in front of goal. The first-team player put his first touch past Inter Miami II goalkeeper CJ dos Santos for the early lead.
OCB sent several long balls to the outside, looking to connect with Rivera or Tablante. In the 12th minute, one of those passes nearly put Rivera in on goal, but it was a bit too far and the midfielder was unable to reach it as it went out of play.
A nearly identical attempt occurred in the 20th minute when a long ball was sent for Tablante. But it was the same result, as the ball was too strong and went out of play for a Miami goal kick.
However, just a minute later, Yan found Rivera at the top right corner of the box. Rivera dribbled across the box, looking for Tablante or Lynn near goal. But the Miami players kept giving the young midfielder space, allowing him to create his own shot. His shot went into the bottom right corner of the goal, beyond the outstretched arms of dos Santos, doubling the OCB lead.
LEFT FOOT MAGIC! ✨ ✨— MLS NEXT Pro (@MLSNEXTPRO) May 21, 2022
Wilfredo Rivera makes it 2️⃣! pic.twitter.com/fy4gYwEfIu
While OCB had a commanding 2-0 lead, the team didn’t let up. This effort was shown in the 24th minute when Lynn pressured a Miami goal kick. While the rookie didn’t win the ball, he made it difficult for the visitors to get out of their own box and nearly did win it back for the Young Lions.
In the 25th minute, Lynn received a long ball in the OCB box. He looked to create some space to get a shot off, but took too long and ended up dribbling the ball out of play.
Two minutes later, Boccuzzo found Freeman to the right of goal. The right back was able to get behind the Miami defense and get a shot off, but the defender did well to block it and the ball went into the side netting for a corner kick.
The ensuing corner was taken short by Rivera to Tablante. Playing his third season for OCB, Tablante carried the ball into the box and took a shot, but it hit the side of the net.
OCB finally got its third goal in the 31st minute. After a Lynn shot was blocked out of play, Tablante played the corner kick short to Rivera. His cross was to the back post where Hackenberg — in his first game back in the starting lineup — jumped over the defender and headed it in.
Brandon Hackenberg finds the back post for the third! pic.twitter.com/sHjHaHTTXA— MLS NEXT Pro (@MLSNEXTPRO) May 21, 2022
“It was a set piece and, especially this game, head coach was saying the number one priority was to do it on set pieces,” Hackenberg said about his goal. “So they hit one of our players and then Fredo (Rivera) just chipped the ball to the back post and I just saw the ball come in and went on and attacked it.”
Yan attempted to get in on the action by creating space to the right and shooting on goal. However, his low shot was from a difficult angle and dos Santos got down to make the stop.
In the 37th minute, Freeman found Gunera at the top of the box. The midfielder’s first shot was blocked but the ball went right back to him. He immediately fired again but that shot was also blocked and Miami was able to clear.
The OCB onslaught continued in the 38th minute when some nifty footwork by Tablante created a shot, but it was blocked. The rebound went right to Ignacio Galvan, who sent the ball way over the target.
Inter Miami II didn’t get an opportunity on goal until the 41st minute. Noah Allen received the ball on the left and quickly attempted to shoot, but he sent the ball straight instead of towards goal and it went out of play without any trouble for Javier Otero.
It went from bad to worse for Miami a minute into injury time. After getting booked in the 42nd minute, Ethan Hardin committed his second hard challenge. As a result, Voigt gave him his second yellow card, reducing the visitors to 10 men.
The ensuing free kick saw the Young Lions nearly create their final chance of the half. Lynn headed the free kick for Freeman, but he sent the ball right at dos Santos, who made the easy save.
OCB was dominant in the first half, with more possession (54.7%-45.3%), shots (14-1), shots on goal (6-0), and corners (5-0). Additionally, the Young Lions were more accurate with their passes (87%-82.2%) and more aggressive, winning more duels (29-23) and tackles (6-2).
The Young Lions continued their domination into the second half. In the 48th minute, Gunera tried to find a teammate with a long cross, but dos Santos did well to come off his line to collect it. Hackenberg then attempted a cross in the 53rd minute, but again it was too close to dos Santos.
The first shot of the half came in the 58th minute when Nick Taylor set up Lynn. The forward was able to take an accurate shot, but dos Santos was there to make the save. Lynn had another opportunity in the 61st minute when Gunera fed him the ball. This time, Lynn was unable to get his shot on target as it missed to the left.
Two minutes later, OCB made it 4-0. Tablante, who had been dangerous all night on the left, sent a low cross into the box. Lynn received it right in front of goal with no defenders in front of him. It was an easy finish for the striker, scoring his second of the game.
In the 64th minute, Taylor set up Lynn again at the top of the box. He was looking for the hat trick but the ball was blocked and went over the crossbar.
A minute later, Tablante got in behind the Miami defense. The midfielder spent most of the night setting up teammates from the left, but this time took the chance himself. However, his shot was right at dos Santos and the Miami goalkeeper made the stop.
Inter Miami II finally got a shot of its own in the 71st minute through Romeo Beckham. The midfielder attempted to shoot from the right of goal, but Hackenberg was right there. The rebound went back to Beckham, but Hackenberg made a second consecutive block, allowing the Young Lions to clear.
A minute later, Able Caputo got a shot off for Miami. It was Inter Miami II’s second shot of the second half, doubling their output in the first 45 minutes. However, like the other shots, this one was from far out and went well high of the target.
The game was well in hand for OCB but the Young Lions scored a fifth in the 74th minute. Freeman set up Yan at the top of the box and the 21-year-old Brazilian put it into the top corner. Dos Santos made his best attempt to reach the ball, but he couldn’t get anywhere near it as OCB went up 5-0.
The final 15 minutes was more about getting the game in than the result, as lightning was visible in the distance. Inter Miami II was trying to get anything it could on goal as the visitors weren’t getting good looks. Braxton Taghavi-Najib took a shot in the 79th minute from way out, but it was nowhere close, going well above the goal.
In the 81st minute, Tablante set up Hackenberg near the penalty spot but the defender’s attempt was well high. Two minutes later, Tablante set up Freeman just outside the six-yard box and the right back’s shot was just off target.
OCB got its sixth and final goal in the 85th minute. Tablante found Lynn just outside the box and the forward put it in the bottom right corner. It was a hat trick of goals for Lynn and a hat trick of assists for Tablante as the duo combined for three of the six conversions. It’s the first time any player for OCB has had three goals or three assists in a game.
The best chance of the night for Miami came in the 88th minute when Tyler Bagley found David Ruiz and the latter got a shot on goal. It beat Otero, one of only two times when the OCB goalkeeper was challenged, but Quembol Guadelupe was there to clear it off the line, keeping the clean sheet.
Despite bookings and goals, the game was well in hand when 90 minutes were up. So with a storm rushing in, the referee blew the final whistle and OCB ended its dominance over Inter Miami II, 6-0.
“We had a couple tough games. The last few games (were) kind of hard for us to get on the board,” Lynn said after the game. “So it feels great to come out and get six tonight.”
In the end, OCB had more possession (57%-43%), shots (22-5), shots on goal (10-1), corners (6-5), and crosses (13-12). The Young Lions also had a better passing accuracy (88%-81.7%), won more duels (47-37), and won more tackles (11-5).
“I’m really happy about our players,” Perelman said after the game. “They have been doing a great effort all this month. They are growing up, as I usually say, and I think they deserve this. At home, six goals, I think it’s fantastic for them. I’m really happy.”
“Coach talked to us about just continuing to build on our performances,” Lynn added. “We had the majority of the possession in the last few games but had a hard time actually creating chances. And I think that was kind of the focus of this week was how do we execute in the final third.”
While most of the focus will be on the six goals, the team was also proud of its clean sheet. It’s the third shutout of the season for OCB and its first since April 24 against New England Revolution II at Exploria Stadium.
“For us, it’s so important to have a clean sheet. Always,” Perelman said. “We do too much effort for preventions and try to attack and defend with the ball. And today we were able to do it. So great job (by) our players.”
“That was what coach wanted, us to get a clean sheet, so happy about that,” Hackenberg added. “I think it was just a combination of our communication between Boccuzzo, Andrew Forth, and myself. When we were in our low block, the three of us kind of worked together to stop the production and everything. And I also think — just just putting in the work and tracking the runs and pressing to the best of our ability, and I think everyone did a good job of that tonight.”
The team also was able to defeat a rival, something that will matter to the fans. But for the players, it was getting revenge after they felt they should’ve done better in the first meeting, a 2-0 loss in Fort Lauderdale.
“Especially because they beat us earlier in the year, I think we all wanted to come in and show that we’re better,” Lynn said. “I think we all thought we were the better team that game (in Fort Lauderdale) and, again, we wanted to come out tonight and prove it on our home turf.”
The Young Lions will look to follow up their best performance of the season when they host FC Cincinnati 2 next Sunday at Osceola County Stadium.