Orlando City B (3-7-3, 14 points) tried to fight back from a three-goal, second-half deficit, but lost 3-2 on the road to Rochester New York FC (5-4-4, 23 points). Jack Lynn and Neicer Acosta scored for the Young Lions but a Gibran Rayo brace lifted the hosts to the win.
OCB Head Coach Martin Perelman displayed a lineup featuring nine of the 11 starters from the team’s 3-1 win over FC Cincinnati 2 last weekend. After being unavailable last weekend due to playing with the first team, Thomas Williams re-entered the starting lineup for this game. Additionally, Victor Yan also re-entered the lineup after coming off the bench in the last two games. They replaced Nick Taylor and Erick Gunera, who started on the bench.
It was an impressive performance by Rochester, which dominated most of the game. If not for some excellent goalkeeping by Adam Grinwis and some near misses, the game could’ve been out of hand well before the final whistle.
Rochester had its first chance in the third minute when Edward Williams was sent through into the box. Thomas Williams put his body on the forward and both players went to the ground. The Rochester players were calling for a penalty, but referee Kaitlyn Trowbridge didn’t agree and awarded a corner kick to the hosts.
OCB’s best first-half chance came in the eighth minute when Ignacio Galvan found Mauro Bravo on the right. Bravo attempted to curl his shot from the corner of the box inside the upper far corner of the goal, but the ball just missed the target.
Rochester nearly opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Pedro Dolabella sent a low shot from outside of the box. Grinwis had trouble with the bouncing ball as it went off his chest and in front of goal. Fortunately, it was cleared wide and the Young Lions were able to escape the danger.
Two minutes later, the hosts converted. A Rochester corner kick found the foot of Dolabella, whose shot was blocked. However, as happened frequently in this game, OCB was unable to clear. As a result, Lamar Batista got the last touch on the ball and put it past Grinwis for the opening goal.
Despite having a 1-0 lead, Rochester didn’t sit back and continued to pressure the Young Lions. In the 24th minute, Ian Garrett sent a dangerous cross into the box, but it was cleared away. A minute later, Rochester’s forward Williams got in free on goal, but Grinwis did well to come out strong and take it off his foot.
Grinwis’ heroics nearly paid off as OCB had another great chance in the 26th minute. Moises Tablante sent Lynn through on goal and the team’s leading scorer had a breakaway. Caique read the play perfectly and came out to block it away. The ball went straight to Tablante at the top of the box, but the midfielder was caught flat footed and the ball rolled away from him.
Rochester should’ve scored a second in the 32nd minute after a good buildup. OCB’s failure to clear the ball allowed a Rochester attacker to direct it on goal. The ball appeared to be going in but Grinwis somehow was able to stop it on the line, keeping the deficit at one.
In the 33rd minute, Rayo carried the ball into the box from the left and found enough space for a shot. Grinwis blocked the attempt, but it went right back to Rayo, who fired again. This time Grinwis caught the shot and OCB was able to clear.
Rayo had another chance three minutes later when he took a hard, low shot from a difficult angle. Grinwis did well to get low and block it with his leg, making arguably his best save of the game.
Rochester finally scored its second a minute into first-half injury time. Garrett sent a hard, direct cross into the box that went right across the six. Rayo was able to get between two OCB defenders and meet the cross with his head, giving the hosts a 2-0 lead.
The Young Lions had more possession in the first half (53.1%-46.9%) but were dominated. Rochester had far more shots (11-3), shots on goal (7-1), corners (5-0), and crosses (9-3) in the first 45 minutes.
After being completely outplayed in the first half, Perelman made two changes to start the second half. Taylor came on for Williams in the back and Wilfredo Rivera returned to the team, replacing Bravo. It was Rivera’s first appearance since May 29 as he had been away with the Puerto Rico national team.
OCB got off to a much better start in the second half, creating a pair of corners and sending a free kick into the box that was just beyond the reach of Lynn. However, the Young Lions weren’t able to put any of those chances on goal.
Rochester probably should’ve had its third goal in the 59th minute when Dolabella got off a pair of shots but both were blocked. The second shot by Dolabella went to Gerardo Lopez, who sent it back towards goal but that too was blocked.
Three minutes later, the hosts did make it a three-goal lead. It came from a counter attack started by Williams, the Rochester captain. He played it wide for Dolabella, who sent a low cross into the box. Rayo found space between defenders for the second time in the game, netting his second goal of the night.
OCB responded well after conceding the third goal. In the 65th minute, Taylor was fouled by Jacob Akanyirige, providing the Young Lions with a free kick. Rivera sent the ball toward the far post, where Brandon Hanckenberg headed it back in front of goal. The defenders inexplicably left Lynn right in front of the goal, where he easily headed in the first goal for the visitors.
It was Lynn’s 11th goal of the season, pulling him even with Columbus Crew 2’s Jacen Russell-Rowe atop MLS NEXT Pro. Additionally, the goal tied Michael Cox’s OCB single-season record of 11 goals from 2016. Lynn has now scored in six of the OCB’s last seven games and has nine goals in that time.
Rochester thought it should’ve had a penalty again in the 68th minute when Dolabella appeared to get tripped up in the box. However, the referee once again didn’t see anything wrong with the challenge and motioned for the midfielder to get up.
Shortly after, the game started to get rough. It began when Garrett was booked for a hard foul on Tablante. Batista stood over Tablante on the ground and was unwilling to move, so Rivera pushed him away as he prepared to take the kick. Garrett, Batista, and Rivera were all booked for the incident. Rivera’s booking means he will be unavailable for next weekend’s game against Inter MiamI II.
Dolabella thought he had his first goal of the night in the 79th minute, when he sent a screaming shot toward the right post. Grinwis was caught flat footed and had no chance. Fortunately, the ball missed just wide of his left post.
Lynn should’ve had his second of the game in the 81st minute. Taylor found Lynn right in front of goal and the striker put it on target from the top of the six-yard box. However, Caique got his hands to the ball, tipping it over the crossbar.
Rochester had its final chance at a fourth goal a minute into second-half injury time. A free kick from beyond the right corner of the box found the head of Dolabella inside the six-yard box. He got his head to the ball and aimed for the near post, but the header went just wide.
As the clock surpassed the five added minutes, it appeared the game was over but OCB had one more attack in store. Acosta, a second-half substitute, picked up the ball near midfield and sprinted toward the Rochester box. Nobody picked him up so Acosta continued his run. It looked like he was going to cross, but slid the ball underneath Caique instead, cutting the deficit to 3-2. It was Acosta’s first goal for the Young Lions.
Niecer Acosta pulls one back in stoppage time! pic.twitter.com/geKaX1J0XU— MLS NEXT Pro (@MLSNEXTPRO) July 2, 2022
OCB quickly grabbed the ball and sprinted to the center circle, hoping for one more attack. However, there was little time left and the referee blew the final whistle shortly after the restart.
Despite the close score, it was a dominant performance by Rochester. OCB ended the game with more possession (53.1%-46.9%) but Rochester had most of the chances. The hosts had more shots (17-8), shots on goal (8-4), corners (6-4), and crosses (14-12).
The loss is OCB’s fourth in the last six games (1-4-1). It sees the Young Lions sit in eighth in the 10-team Eastern Conference and third in the five-team Central Division. This game also ended a tough four-game road trip in which the Young Lions went 1-3-0.
With the four-game trip now behind them, the Young Lions will head home to Osceola County Stadium next Sunday night to host Inter Miami II for the third time this season.