Despite Jack Lynn scoring his league-leading ninth goal of the season, Orlando City B (2-5-3, 11 points) fell 2-1 to New England Revolution II (7-2-2, 24 points) at Gillette Stadium tonight in MLS NEXT Pro action. Goals by Noel Buck and Marcos Dias lifted Revs II to the win.
OCB Head Coach Martin Perelman displayed almost an identical lineup to the team’s draw with NYCFC II last weekend. The only difference was the insertion of Alejandro Granados for Nick Taylor. As a result, the team had Javier Otero in goal, Ignacio Galvan, Brandon Hackenberg, Andrew Forth, and Owen Van Marter across the back, David Boccuzzo, Erick Gunera, and Granados in the midfield, and Moises Tablante, Lynn, and Victor Yan as the forwards.
The hosts got off to a strong start, creating the first chance inside the first minute. Despite OCB kicking off, Michel won the ball and found Esmir Bajraktarevic working his way through the OCB back line. The dangerous Homegrown striker got a shot off but it was deflected wide of the target.
Just five minutes into the game, New England got its first goal. A throw-in was quickly played forward by Michel for Buck, who was splitting two defenders. Nobody picked up the forward, instead anticipating a pass, and he beat Otero to the near post for the opening goal.
The OCB players were unhappy about something leading up to the goal and surrounded the referee. The disagreement resulted in Otero receiving a booking, something that became common as the game went on.
The Young Lions nearly equalized in the ninth minute. Despite no one in white anywhere near Tablante’s cross, Pierre Cayet knocked the ball out for a corner. The ensuing set piece was taken by Granados and found the head of Hackenberg. His header was directed toward the corner of the goal but went just wide of the post.
The Revs nearly doubled their lead in the 29th minute when Dias got behind the OCB back line, creating a breakaway on goal. However, as he’s done countless times this year, Otero did well to close down the attacker and got low to make the stop with his legs.
Just a minute later, the Young Lions thought they had a breakaway of their own when Lynn was sent through by Tablante. Unfortunately, the linesman’s flag was up as the OCB striker was judged to be offside.
Ryan Lima attempted a shot from distance in the 33rd minute. However, he was shooting on one of the best goalkeepers in the league and the attempt caused no trouble for Otero.
The Young Lions had a great chance in the 38th minute when Lynn geared up to shoot and was hit from behind by Jake Rozhansky. It created a free kick for OCB at the top of the penalty arc and the best opportunity to that point. Lynn took a low shot that went below the wall, but it was to the center of the goal and right at goalkeeper Jacob Jackson.
The hosts controlled most of the first half, ending the period with more possession (51.2%-48.8%), shots (5-2), shots on goal (4-1), crosses (7-4), duels won (22-20), and tackles won (7-5). However, the teams’ passing accuracy was nearly identical, with OCB having a slight advantage (83.8%-83.1%). Additionally, OCB had more corners (3-1) in the first 45 minutes.
OCB almost scored in the first minute of the second half. A quick build-up allowed Gunera to find Lynn making a run behind the Revs’ back line. It was a better chance than any in the first half and Lynn got his shot on target, but Jackson made a great diving save to maintain the one-goal advantage.
It was a rare let-up by New England that allowed Lynn behind the defense and seemed to wake up the hosts. Following that chance, Revolution II immediately went back on the attack, creating multiple chances.
In the 49th minute, Bajraktarevic had some space on the left after Lima worked the ball across the field. The striker had enough space for a shot on target but didn’t hit it well, and it sailed high and wide of the target.
New England finally doubled its lead in the 56th minute. It started with a bad giveaway by Yan, allowing the Revs to break the other way. Lima took the first shot, which was blocked by Boccuzzo. However, it went right back to the attacker and he quickly played it over for Dias. Otero came out in an attempt to cut down the angle, but Dias was calm and collected, sliding it past the OCB goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
Tablante made a good run in the 60th minute, looking to get the Young Lions back into the game. He carried the ball to the end line, which he typically does before crossing it in. This time he decided to shoot from a tough angle and hit the side of the net.
An unexpected chance by Bajraktarevic nearly made it 3-0 three minutes later. Rather than crossing, the striker fired from the corner of the box. The curling shot beat a diving Otero but curled just wide of the far post. The Revs quickly won the ball back off the ensuing goal kick, creating an opportunity for Buck, but his shot was right at Otero, who had no trouble making the save.
OCB nearly caused a third Revs goal in the 66th minute when Tablante fouled Rozhansky just outside the box. Bajraktarevic took the free kick and put it on target, but Otero did well to cover his near post and dove to make the stop.
The hosts continued their barrage of chances in the 68th minute when Lima made a nice run, working his way into the OCB box. He attempted a shot from the right side of the 18, but it hit the side netting. Even if it had been on target, he was looking for the near post and Otero had it covered.
New England’s inability to finish had kept OCB in the game and the Young Lions got back to within a goal in the 71st minute. After a tussle to the right of goal, Yan won the ball and found Lynn near the top of the six-yard box. The OCB striker quickly shot but it was blocked.
The Young Lions won it back and a long diagonal ball found second-half substitute Mauro Bravo on the right side. His left-footed cross reached the head of Lynn, who found himself with some space behind two defenders. The striker flicked his header inside the far post, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
After Lynn had taken the league lead in goals last week, he was overtaken by Columbus Crew 2’s Jacen Russell-Rowe. His ninth goal of the year brought him back even with the Crew 2 forward at the top of the league’s goal-scoring list.
The goal also marked the fourth straight game in which Lynn has scored for OCB. It’s only the second time that an OCB player has scored in four consecutive games. Previously, Hadji Barry found the net in four straight games between Aug. 5-19, 2017.
The goal seemed to re-energize the Young Lions as they searched for an equalizer. They nearly found it in the 76th minute when a corner kick was redirected on goal. Unfortunately, it was just off target.
Bajraktarevic nearly responded for New England in the 78th minute from the corner of the box. This one was heading in, but Otero dove and got a finger to it, tipping it around the far post. The hosts came even closer in the 79th minute when Italo took a shot from outside the box. This one beat Otero but went breathtakingly just wide of the post.
OCB broke the other way and had a great chance to equalize. A good run by Tablante allowed him to center the ball. It looked as though New England would clear, but the ball went right to Ethan Subachan near the penalty spot. The substitute’s first touch was a shot on goal but he got under it and the ball sailed over the crossbar.
Back the other way, Jack Panayotou got in on the end-to-end action. The Revs II substitute sent either a cross or a shot towards the far post. Regardless of the intent, it was a dangerous ball into the OCB six-yard box that should’ve been met by a back-post run. But no Revs players were there and OCB escaped the situation.
Bajraktarevic had an excellent opportunity in the 84th minute to put the game away when a nifty spin allowed him to lose his defender. He took the shot with his right foot, but got under it and the ball sailed high and wide of the target.
Despite leading by a goal, the late chances were all for New England. In the 88th minute, Meny Silva shot from the top of the box, but Otero was there to make the stop. A minute later, it was almost a disaster as a poor back pass rolled away from Otero. Heading beyond the far post, Otero raced to beat any Revolution II attackers to the ball. Fortunately, he just got the ball first, clearing it away.
New England won the clearance and continued to pressure the OCB back line. Hikaru Fujiwara found free space without a defender in front of him and fired on goal. But Otero held his ground and made another quality save.
Two minutes into added time, a difficult task became nearly impossible when Fujiwara was fouled. It initially appeared as though it was a second yellow for Bravo. However, the referee issued a straight red card to Quembol Quadelupe, who had just come into the game. There wasn’t much OCB could do with just four minutes remaining and down a man.
OCB had plenty of possession in this game (54.2%-45.8%) but it was the chances created that was the difference between the two teams. New England ended the game with far more shots (20-9) and shots on target (11-3) than OCB. Those stats eclipsed the fact that the Young Lions also had more corners (5-3), crosses (11-7), and a better passing accuracy (84.5%-81.5%).
The game would likely have been out of hand much earlier in the night if not for another great performance by Otero, who ended the game with nine saves. The number of stops matched his season high, which he previously recorded in the season opener against Chicago Fire II on March 26.
The loss places OCB in fourth in the Central Division and eighth in the Eastern Conference. The Young Lions will look to bounce back next Sunday afternoon in the second match of a four-game road trip, when they take on Crew 2 in Columbus, OH.