Orlando City B

Orlando City B vs. Huntsville City FC: Final Score 5-0 as OCB Dominates at Home

OCB scored a season-high five goals in a dominant shutout win over Huntsville City FC.



Image courtesy of Orlando City B / Mark Thor

Orlando City B (4-3-3, 16 points) scored a season-high five goals in a dominant 5-0 win over winless Huntsville City FC (0-7-3, 3 points) tonight at Osceola County Stadium. Jhon Solis, Yutaro Tsukada, and Shak Mohammed gave the Young Lions a 3-0 lead before late substitute Yeiler Valencia scored a brace — his first two OCB goals.

Manuel Goldberg made two charges to the starting lineup that lost 4-3 in Columbus on May 15. Javier Otero and Tsukada returned to the second team, replacing Carlos Mercado and Favian Loyola. The back line in front of Otero was Manuel Cocca, Thomas Williams, Nabi Kibunguchy, and Alex Freeman. Imanol Almaguer and Colin Guske were the defensive midfielders behind Tsukada, Mohammed, and Solis, with Wilfredo Rivera up top.

OCB dominated this game from the opening kickoff. The Young Lions should’ve put the game away in the first half, but missed several clear-cut scoring opportunities. The Young Lions were much more clinical in the second half, scoring four of their five goals.

The Young Lions had the first chance of the game in the sixth minute. Solis sent Freeman down the right and the right back caught up to the ball before it exited play. His cross was well over the head of Rivera, but landed at the foot of Tsukada on the far side of the box. The rookie midfielder was looking for the far post on his shot but missed wide.

The visitors had their first chance of the game in the ninth minute when Jonathan Bolanos was sent long down the right. The midfielder beat Williams to the ball and his first touch was a shot, but it was right at Otero.

OCB quickly went the other way and created a chance of its own. It was Tsukada again with the shot, setting up the opportunity on his own. Creating space at the top of the box, he was looking to beat Huntsville City goalkeeper Benjamin Martino to the near post, but the shot was wide. Martino appeared to have the post covered anyway, so it was unlikely to produce a goal.

The Young Lions took the lead inside the first 15 minutes for the third consecutive game. In the 12th minute, Tsukada took on Faiz Opande, twisting and turning the defender before finding Solis in the center of the box. It was a simple finish by Solis, who only had to touch it in to give OCB the 1-0 lead.

Solis nearly scored a second two minutes later after a turnover by Huntsville City on the visitors’ own side of the field. Rivera anticipated the pass and stepped in front of it, sprinting forward with Solis to his right. Rivera played it to the midfielder, whose first touch should’ve been a shot. However, he tried to dribble around Martino, enabling defenders to get back and win the ball.

The Young Lions felt they should’ve had a penalty in the 22nd minute when Solis attempted to chip the ball between two defenders to Rivera making a run behind the back line. It hit a defender and appeared to be a possible handball, so Solis threw his arms up claiming a penalty. However, referee Gerald Flores didn’t agree. Freeman ended up with the ball and went down in the box, but that too didn’t interest Flores.

In the 26th minute, Mohammed sent a cross into the box from the left. Rivera looked like he would turn it on goal, but let it go to Solis behind him. The midfielder’s first shot was on target, but right at Martino, who blocked it away. The block went right to Freeman for a second shot, but the fullback didn’t get enough on it, and it was stopped by Martino.

The Young Lions had another good chance in the 28th minute when a foul on the Huntsville City side of the field gave them a free kick. Almaguer and Rivera stood over it, with Almaguer taking the set piece. It was headed down in the box by Cocca in front of goal with Mohammed and Freeman making runs. However, Martino was the first to reach it, ending the threat.

Freeman tried to set up Mohammed at the top of the Huntsville City box in the 31st minute and it should’ve been a second goal. The right back laid it on a tee for the attacker and Mohammed’s first touch was a shot, but he sent the attempt over the top.

That was the last play before Flores called for a hydration break due to the high temperature. When play resumed, Almaguer stole the short goal kick and shot for the far post. Unfortunately, he missed wide.

OCB had nearly all of the chances in the first half, with Huntsville City unable to create anything in the final third. However, a foul just outside of the OCB box in the 37th minute gave the visitors their first good opportunity. It didn’t result in anything as Kibunguchy headed the ball away without a shot being taken.

In the 40th minute, quick passing by Tyler Pasnik and Bolanos saw the latter play Forster Ajaga through. The striker was behind the back line and attempted to curl it inside the far post, but missed wide.

A minute later a similar play occurred when Tomas Ritondale played the ball to Oliver Wright and Ajaga was sent through again. However, the flag went up on this one for offside as Ajaga was just a bit early on his run.

Almaguer forced Martino into a save in the 42nd minute after Tsukada laid it back to him. It was a quality strike by Almaguer, who put it on target. Martino did well to block it away, giving the Young Lions a corner kick. The ball ended up back in the box and was headed down where Mohammed should’ve gotten his foot on it. He couldn’t control it enough to get a shot off and Huntsville City cleared.

Wright found Pasnik for the visitors in stoppage time at the top of the box and the midfielder took a shot at goal. He had a good look but it was a weak attempt and made for an easy save for Otero.

A minute later, Rivera took an unexpected shot from distance. The forward has taken similar attempts this season and put this one on target, but Martino caught it. That was the last chance of the half as the Young Lions went into the break with a 1-0 lead.

It was a dominant first half by OCB which finished with the advantage in shots (11-3), shots on target (6-2), corner kicks (3-0), and passing accuracy (88%-84.7%). While they led at the break, it was a disappointing 45 minutes, as the Young Lions had several opportunities to take a commanding lead.

OCB was much more clinical in the second half, and it started almost immediately after the restart.

In the 47th minute, Mohammed found Tsukada, who dribbled inside and was taken down as he played it forward for Rivera. After ensuring there was no advantage, Flores blew for a foul just outside of the box. Tsukada and Rivera stood over the ball with Tsukada taking it. The midfielder sent a shot inside the near post before Martino could get to it, giving the Young Lions a 2-0 lead.

“I have confidence with free kicks because I’ve scored two so far,” Tsukada said about his goal. “So I had the confidence and I just needed to smash it. It went well, so I’m so happy with that.”

Huntsville City had its first second-half chance in the 50th minute when Ajago won a corner kick. Isaiah Johnston sent the set piece to the near post, where Ajago was making a run. The striker got his head to the ball but sent it into the outside of the net.

In the 62nd minute, Solis sent a lovely ball forward for Mohammed. The attacker dribbled inside, looking for space for a shot, and decided to leave it for Rivera coming the other way. Rivera took a shot from distance, his second of the game, but it was right into the arms of Martino.

The Young Lions scored a third in the 65th minute when Solis took the ball away in the Huntsville City half and played Freeman forward on the right. Freeman sent a great ball in front of goal, where Mohammed beat Sangwa. It was a simple tap-in by Mohammed, who has now scored in four consecutive games and has five in the last six games.

Goldberg made his first substitution in the 69th minute as Justin Ellis came on for Rivera. During the change, Williams went down, apparently with a cramp. Kibunguchy signaled that Williams should be substituted, but the center back was able to continue. However, since it wasn’t a head injury, OCB had to play a man down for three minutes.

In the 76th minute, Guske played a long ball across the field for Freeman, but the Homegrown fullback couldn’t control it. Flores took the stoppage to pull the players off for the second half hydration break. OCB made two changes during the stoppage, replacing Tsukada and Solis with Valencia and Favian Loyola

It didn’t take long for Valencia to make his mark on the game. His pressure on Opande in the 80th minute caused a turnover. Opande recovered well, forcing Valencia to turn back and look for a teammate. However, with nobody near him, Valencia turned the defender and took a shot on goal. It was a tight angle, but he beat Martino to the far post for his first OCB goal, extending OCB’s lead to 4-0.

Shortly after the goal, Goldberg made his final two changes. Majed Abdullah and Zakaria Taifi came into the game for Freeman and Mohammed.

In the 84th minute, OCB won a free kick and it nearly resulted in another immediate impact by a substitute. Almaguer sent the set piece into the box, where Abdullah was left unmarked. He got his head to the ball in an attempt to redirect it on goal, but sent it over the top.

Huntsville City tried to get one back in the 87th minute when a shot by Bolanos was blocked out for a corner kick. Pasnik received a short set piece and dribbled into the box, shooting from a tight angle. Otero got down to block it out of play for a second corner kick. The visitors weren’t able to create another shot as a foul call in the box enabled the Young Lions to clear it away.

In the 89th minute, Bolanos sent a dangerous cross in front of goal where Jones was open. The midfielder turned the ball on target, forcing Otero into his best save of the night.

The Young Lions made it five on the other end in the 90th minute, and it was the two late substitutes combining. Loyola played a gorgeous long diagonal ball to Valencia. Sangwa tried to cut off the pass, but missed it. As a result, Valencia was able to take a similar shot to his first goal, putting it inside the far post to give his team a 5-0 lead.

The crowd chanted for more goals and the Young Lions nearly gave them one in stoppage time. Abdullah attempted to find space for a shot in the box, but it was cleared away. Ellis collected it and took a long-distance attempt, but it was right to Martino.

OCB ended the game with the advantage in shots (21-9), shots on target (13-4), and passing accuracy (89.7%-86%). The visitors had more crosses (4-3) and both teams had three corner kicks.

“Every game is a lot of learning for us because we had some chances in the first half that we were not able to score,” Goldberg said about the game. “And we know that with that start, the important thing is that the team stays positive in the second half, continues with the positive energy, and finds the goals instead of the other way around.”

It’s been a road-heavy schedule early in the season for the Young Lions. Even their first home game wasn’t a true home game, as they played at the IMG Academy in Bradenton. They’re taking advantage of the friendly confines of Osceola County Stadium, winning their last two games in Kissimmee.

The team has also seen offensive improvements in recent weeks. After scoring three goals against Atlanta United 2 in the season opener, the team has only scored multiple goals in one of the next six games. With the five goals today, the Young Lions have now scored at least three in each of their last three games, primarily coming from Mohammed, Tsukada, and Rivera.

“With time and with work, stuff starts to function,” Goldberg said about the production. “The level of the team is very even, so anybody that goes in and out is able to play. So that’s really good for us.”

“Wilfredo, Shak, and me, we combine with each other well,” Tsukada added. “It comes from, I think, the head coach Manu.”

The three points sees OCB finish the weekend in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, a point out of fourth, and three points out of third. The Young Lions will look to build on this win next Sunday evening when they travel south for a rivalry clash with Inter Miami CF II.


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