Two poor clearances late in the first half helped Toronto FC II (3-7-1, 10 points) beat Orlando City B (6-4-2, 21 points) 3-0 in a shortened game north of the border. Reshaun Walkes gave the hosts the lead in the 33rd minute and Markus Cimermancic doubled the advantage two minutes later. Jesus Batiz added a second-half goal for good measure, handing the Young Lions their first loss since May 14.
The game suffered a power issue in the 72nd minute when the lights went out. The delay lasted for nearly an hour and a half before the game had to end due to a local curfew.
OCB Head Coach Martin Perelman made four changes to the team that beat New York Red Bulls II Monday night. First-team backup goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar entered the lineup with Zakaria Taifi, Juninho, and Alejandro Granados, who returned after representing Spain. They replaced Javier Otero, Alex Freeman, Moises Tablante, and Wilfredo Rivera.
The back line in front of Stajduhar was Imanol Almaguer, Nabi Kibunguchy, Thomas Williams, and Taifi. Juninho, Cristian Medina, and Granados were in the midfield and Shak Mohammed, Jack Lynn, and Jhon Solis made up the front line.
Despite their lack of goals, it was defensive errors that cost OCB in this game. It started inside the first minute when the Young Lions nearly gave up a breakaway and continued as they gave the opposition possession in the box on several occasions. The first two goals came from bad clearances and it could’ve been worse.
The game got off to an inauspicious start when Williams turned the ball over to Walkes near the OCB box. He made a clumsy challenge to stop a potential breakaway, taking down Walkes and receiving a yellow card just 17 seconds after the kickoff. Walkes received treatment for an extended period of time before getting up and resuming play. Themi Antonoglou stepped up to take the set piece, sending it well over the target.
The Young Lions got their first chance in the eighth minute, when Granados got the ball on the left and sent it towards the penalty spot for Mohammed. The attacker’s first touch was a shot, but it was blocked.
Stajduhar was called into action for the first time in the 10th minute, when Cristian Gutierrez found Walkes in the box. The forward got his head to the ball, putting it on goal, but it was right into the arms of Stajduhar.
Two minutes later, Walkes should’ve scored when a ball into the box was headed on by Batiz. It fell right to Walkes’ feet, who was left wide open at the top of the six-yard box, and should’ve been an easy goal for the forward, but he put it wide.
In the 22nd minute, Almaguer sent a cross into the box that was headed away. However, it was only sent to the top of the 18, where Granados collected it. The midfielder moved the ball over to his right and shot, but the attempt was right to Toronto goalkeeper Luka Gavran.
Juninho made a good run in the 31st minute into the Toronto third of the field. A strong touch allowed a defender to step up, but his clearance bounced off Juninho and went towards the six-yard box. It bounced around and looked like Lynn would get on the end of it, but Toronto was able to clear it.
After being booked inside the first minute of the game, Williams made the referee think about issuing a second yellow. The center back stepped over the ball and took down Walkes for the second time after a careless giveaway by Solis. Rather than sending him off, the referee Ryan Schwenger gave Williams his final warning.
The hosts opened the scoring in the 33rd minute, when Antonoglou sent a cross into the box. Taifi attempted to head the ball away, but sent it directly to Walkes. It was an easy finish for the forward, who put it past Stajduhar to give Toronto a 1-0 lead.
It took less than two minutes for Toronto to double their lead. It started when Granados received the ball from Taifi on the left and lost it to Toronto in his own third. Hugo Mbongue and Walkes attempted a give-and-go, but Medina won it back. However, his poor clearance attempt went right to Cimermancic, whose shot was deflected by Kibunguchy and went in to give Toronto a 2-0 lead.
The Young Lions had a chance in the 40th minute when Solis played the ball back for Almaguer, who had plenty of time to send a cross into the box. It found the head of Lynn, who had a defender right in front of him. As a result, Lynn couldn’t get much on the attempt and Gavran easily collected it.
A minute later, the Young Lions thought they should’ve had a penalty when Mohammed found Lynn making a run into the box. His first touch was towards the near post and Adam Pearlman appeared to take him down. Schwenger determined that there wasn’t enough in the challenge and signaled play on.
OCB had another bad clearance in the 45th minute, this time by Williams. Possibly lucky to still be on the field, Mbongue dribbled into the center back, but his clearance was poor, giving the striker another chance. Fortunately, he sent the ball over the goal.
Lynn had the final chance of the first half in the 45th minute. He carried the ball to his right to avoid a defender and took a shot from outside of the box, but it didn’t cause any trouble for Gavran, who easily collected it.
At halftime, Toronto had more possession (53.1%-46.9%), shots (9-5), and passing accuracy (91%-89.9%). OCB had more crosses (6-2) and both teams put three shots on target. The difference in the half was Toronto taking advantage of some poor clearances by the Young Lions.
Toronto had the first chance of the second half when Batiz made a good run into the box in the 54th minute. Reaching the end line, he played it back for Cimermancic, but the midfielder sent his shot over the goal.
OCB had its first second-half chance in the 56th minute when Juninho sent the ball into the box with Lynn and Mohammed making back-post runs. With Mohammed behind him, Lynn got his head on the ball, putting it on target. But he didn’t get enough on it and Gavran was able to collect it.
In the 57th minute, Mbongue made a run into the box and got a shot off, but it was blocked out of play by Williams for the game’s first corner kick. The ensuing set piece ended up with Cimermancic at the top of the box. He put it back into the mixer, but nobody in red could get on the end of it. The Young Lions had trouble clearing the ball again, but were eventually able to get it away.
The hosts nearly had a third goal in the 59th minute when Walkes sent a low cross into the box looking for Mbongue. The forward got behind Kibunguchy, but the center back was able to catch up and reach the ball first. He stuck his foot out and the ball went towards his own goal and into the arms of Stajduhar.
Perelman made his first change in the 62nd minute, bringing Favian Loyola on for Granados. It was an attacking substitution as the Young Lions looked to get back into the game.
In the 64th minute, Marko Stojadinovic, who came on at halftime, took an ambitious shot from long distance. It was a decent strike and the bodies in front of Stajduhar made it more challenging. But the goalkeeper did well to dive to his right and stop it.
Seconds later on the other end, Lynn received the ball in the box and dropped it back for Mohammed. The first-team forward shot, but it was wide of the near post. That was the last touch of the game for Mohammed, as he was replaced by Wilfredo Rivera.
Immediately after the substitution, Toronto scored its third goal. Mbongue played the ball for Cimemancic with Williams challenging. Cimermancic’s first touch was a pass through Williams’ legs for Batiz, who held his run long enough to remain onside. The forward didn’t squander his attempt, putting it by the oncoming Stajduhar to give the hosts a 3-0 lead.
As the Toronto players celebrated, the lights went out in the stadium, apparently on a timer. The game was originally scheduled to start at 8 p.m., but a delay in OCB reaching the stadium saw the game delayed an hour with a 9 p.m. kickoff. That triggered the lights to go off with a little less than 30 minutes remaining in the game, eventually ending the contest and giving Toronto the 3-0 win.
In the end, Toronto had more possession (51.7%-48.3%), shots (17-9), shots on target (5-4), corners (2-0), and passing accuracy (89.3%-89%). OCB had more crosses (8-4), duels won (41-29), and tackles won (10-5).
The Young Lions will have a week before they take the field next, returning home to face FC CIncinnati 2 at Osceola County Stadium next Sunday evening.