Orlando City B

Orlando City B vs. Columbus Crew 2: Final Score 4-0 as Young Lions Blown Out in Second Half

After a scoreless first half, Crew 2 pulled away from OCB with four second-half goals.



Image courtesy of Orlando City B

Orlando City B (4-3-1, 14 points) gave up four second-half goals, falling 4-0 to Columbus Crew 2 (5-1-1, 17 points) at Historic Crew Stadium this afternoon. After a scoreless first half, the hosts got goals from Gio De Libera, Mataeo Bunbury, Clay Holstad, and Gibran Rayo to run away with all three points.

OCB Head Coach Martin Perelman made two changes to the team that lost 3-2 to Crown Legacy FC last weekend. Abdi Salim entered the lineup after not playing for the first team last night and captain Juninho re-entered the lineup after missing last weekend’s game. They replaced Alejandro Granados and Favian Loyola, with the latter starting the game on the bench.

The back line in front of Javier Otero featured Alex Freeman, Salim, Nabi Kibunguchy, and Moises Tablante. Zakaria Taifi started in the midfield alongside Cristian Medina and Imanol Almaguer, while Juninho, Cristofer Acuna, and Jhon Solis were the attacking line.

Crew 2 dominated this game from the first minute, creating all of the good chances. OCB defended furiously in the first 45 minutes to reach halftime scoreless, but the opening goal in the 53rd minute opened the floodgates. It was chance after chance for the hosts with the result never in doubt once they got their first goal.

The Young Lions take pride in starting games strong, but it was the hosts that produced pressure early. In the first minute, a dangerous cross into the box by Columbus was cleared out by Kibunguchy for a corner kick. The ensuing set piece was easily caught by Otero.

Three minutes later, Thomas Roberts made a long, unimpeded run to the top of the box and found Jordan Knight to his left. Knight entered the OCB box, but was challenged by Taifi, who knocked the ball out for a corner kick.

Roberts’ corner found Jacob Erlandson, who redirected the ball on goal. Fortunately, Tablante was at the near post and cleared the ball off the line.

It looked like Crew 2 had an opportunity in the sixth minute for an opening goal when Bunbury got behind the OCB defense. As the low cross entered the OCB box, Kibunguchy caught up to Bunbury, making just enough contact so the striker couldn’t connect with the pass.

The Young Lions finally got their first decent chance of the game in the 14th minute when Taifi sent a cross into the Crew 2 box from the right. He had Acuna making a run towards the near post, but the pass was behind him, allowing Columbus to clear.

OCB had a second chance in the 16th minute when Almaguer sent a beautiful diagonal ball over the Columbus defense for Solis making a run on the far side. Solis was able to bring the ball down and get a shot off, but sent it over the goal.

In the 22nd minute, a great ball forward by Noah Fuson sent Bunbury behind the OCB defense. Otero was decisive coming off his line, challenging the Crew 2 forward, and blocked the ball out for a corner kick. The ensuing corner by Roberts was too close to the 20-year-old goalkeeper, who punched it away to safety.

An OCB turnover in the back in the 28th minute created a chance for Columbus. Marco Micaletto was sent into the box and beat Kibunguchy to get off a shot. But Otero did well to block it out for another Crew 2 corner kick. Roberts’ corner found the head of Jacob Erlanson, but the header was wide.

Crew 2 goalkeeper Brady Scott was forced into his first save of the day in the 32nd minute when Freeman took a hard shot from outside of the box. The usual right back had switched with Taifi, moving into the midfield, and got over the ball to put it on target. But Scott was able to block it down and collect it. The long-distance shot was one of OCB’s best chances of the day.

Columbus had one more chance just before halftime when quick passing allowed Micaletto to get a shot off at the top of the six. But Taifi did well to get in front of it, blocking the shot away and enabling OCB to reach halftime scoreless.

OCB had more first-half possession (58.3%-41.7%), crosses (3-2), and passing accuracy (86.1%-82.4%), but Crew 2 had more chances. The hosts ended the first 45 minutes with more shots (10-4), shots on target (2-1), and corners (7-1), but couldn’t convert on their opportunities and it was 0-0 at the break.

OCB got the first attempt of the second half in the 49th minute when Cole Mrowka fouled Juninho about 30 yards out. The set piece was taken by Juninho and the OCB captain went for goal, but sent it well over the target.

The hosts got their first chance of the second half in the 52nd minute when Knight’s cross was deflected out of play by Salim. The ensuing corner kick ended up at the feet of Micaletto at the top of the box, but the Crew 2 captain sent it well over the top.

Just after the miss, Perelman made his first change of the game, bringing Jack Lynn on for Acuna. However, Acuna took too long to leave the field and, per MLS NEXT Pro rules, Lynn had to wait a minute to enter the game. As a result, the Young Lions had to play with 10 men.

The decision by Acuna to take his time proved costly as Crew 2 scored before Lynn could enter the game. OCB turned the ball over quickly, and Fuson attempted to play the ball for De Libera, but it was deflected by Kibunguchy. Unfortunately, it went right to Mrowka, who flicked it over the OCB defense for Bunbury. The forward placed his shot well into the corner, beating the diving Otero and giving the hosts the 1-0 lead.

Columbus nearly got a second in the 56th minute when Abdi Mohamed sent a dangerous ball across the face of goal from the right. He had two teammates making runs — one to the front post and one to the back post — but neither could get on the end of it and the ball went all the way through.

Perelman made his second change a minute later, bringing on Favian Loyola for Freeman, and it nearly resulted in an equalizer. In the 59th minute, Loyola took the ball to the end line and played it back for Lynn at the top of the six-yard box. The striker took a bit too long to take his shot, allowing Erlandson to get in front and block the attempt.

Rayo had replaced Roberts at halftime and found enough space for his first shot in the 63rd minute. Otero looked to have a good view of it, but the shot went off Taifi and Kibunguchy before reaching the goalkeeper. However, Otero did well to react to the change of direction and made the stop.

OCB quickly went the other way and almost got an equalizer through Loyola. This time it was Lynn finding the other second-half substitute near the top of the six. Scott came out to block Loyola’s shot, but it went behind him. Knight was in the right place at the right time for Columbus, enabling him to clear it.

After scoring the opening goal, De Libera created the second for the hosts in the 65th minute. Receiving the ball from Scott near midfield, De Libera made a long run to the top of the box and found Bunbury to his left. Taifi didn’t get back and Salim didn’t slide over to cover, leaving Bunbury wide open. The striker didn’t waste his opportunity, placing the ball into the corner to give his team a 2-0 lead.

Following the goal, Crew 2 made three changes that impacted the game. Coleman Gannon, Taha Harboune, and Holstad came on for Bunbury, Micaletto, and Knight. 

Crew 2 almost had a third in the 75th minute when Fuson lifted the ball for Rayo in front of goal. Rayo headed the ball towards the back post but missed wide.

Columbus got its third goal in the 78th minute with another defensive error. Rayo made a good run into the box and used some nifty footwork to beat Kibunguchy. The OCB defenders left Holstad wide open near the penalty spot and Rayo did well to find him. Flicking the ball up for his teammate, Holstad simply headed the ball into the bottom corner to make it 3-0.

In the 82nd minute, Columbus had a chance for a fourth when Gannon played the ball back for Harboune at the top of the box. The substitute shot the ball towards the bottom right corner, but Otero reacted well and blocked it away with his left hand.

OCB made its final three changes in the 85th minute. Fernando Sanchez, Wilfredo Rivera, and Shak Mohammed entered the game for Solis, Almaguer, and Juninho.

Crew 2 added a fourth goal in the 88th minute when Gannon sent a long ball into the OCB box. Ariel Mbumba used his speed to beat Mohammed to the ball and played it to Rayo, who had beaten Kibunguchy with a run into the six. Otero attempted to come out to clear it, but was too late and Rayo added a goal to his earlier assist.

It looked like Columbus would score a fifth a minute later. Rayo shot towards the bottom corner, but Otero made a great stop with his right hand. Unfortunately, Gannon beat Taifi to the ball and the defender took down the attacker. Referee Austin Saini didn’t hesitate to point to the spot, awarding Crew 2 a late penalty.

After drawing the foul, Gannon stepped up to take the kick. But Otero was up to the challenge again, diving to his right to block it away. That was the last good chance by either team as Columbus took all three points with a 4-0 win over the Young Lions.

OCB ended the game with more possession (52.3%-47.7%), but most of it didn’t result in chances. In addition to their four goals, Crew 2 had more shots (26-8), shots on goal (10-2), and corners (14-1). The Young Lions did pass more accurately (85.2%-84.3%) and attempt more crosses (6-4), but rarely threatened the opposition.

The loss continues OCB’s struggles on the road. After opening the season with a win against Philadelphia Union II in Chester, PA, the Young Lions have lost their last three away from Osceola County Stadium. But none of the games were as decisively lost as this one, with OCB completely outplayed by a team that entered the day with the same number of points on the year.

OCB will have to get over this loss quickly because the Young Lions take the field again Friday night. However, they’ll be back at home where they’ve yet to be beaten (3-0-1) to face Atlanta United 2.


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