Orlando City B

Orlando City B vs. Chattanooga FC: Final Score 2-2 as OCB Drops Points at Home

OCB scores late but concedes later to draw Chattanooga FC 2-2 at home.



Image courtesy of Orlando City B / Mark Thor

Orlando City B (4-4-5, 19 points) drew its second consecutive game at Osceola County Stadium, sharing the points in a 2-2 result with Chattanooga FC (6-2-6, 28 points) tonight. The Young Lions took the lead when Shak Mohammed headed in an Imanol Almaguer corner kick in the 30th minute. Mehdi Ouamri equalized in the 56th minute and it appeared as though OCB had won it when Jhon Solis converted a penalty in the 89th minute. However, Duvan Viafara’s stoppage-time goal saw the game end 2-2. Chattanooga dominated the shootout after some poor penalties by OCB, enabling the visitors to take the extra point.

OCB Head Coach Manuel Goldberg used the same lineup that drew 2-2 with Carolina Core FC Friday night. The back line in front of Javier Otero was Manuel Cocca, Thomas Williams, Nabi Kibunguchy, and Alex Freeman. Almaguer and Colin Guske were the defensive midfielders behind Yeiler Valencia, Mohammed, and Solis with Justin Ellis up top.

This game will be seen as points lost for OCB as the Young Lions dominated the 90 minutes. They likely would’ve won by multiple goals if not for some stellar play by Chattanooga goalkeeper Jean Antoine, but still took a lead into stoppage time. They were lucky that Jesus Ibarra’s last-minute free kick was off the post and Otero, but failed to clear the danger, enabling the visitors to steal two points.

The Young Lions created the game’s first chance in the fifth minute. Solis sent Freeman down the right and the right back’s second touch was a low cross for Mohammed in the box. The first-team forward turned to shoot, but sent the attempt over the crossbar.

A lackadaisical pass by Milo Garvanian to Farid Sar-Sar in the eighth minute was intercepted by Mohammed. Sar-Sar was the last defender and stuck his foot out, tripping Mohammed. It should’ve resulted in a red card for Sar-Sar as he was clearly the last defender, but referee Calin Radosav gave the defender a yellow card instead.

After a free kick and throw-in didn’t result in anything for the Young Lions, Chattanooga sprinted the other way with a counterattack. The pass out of the back went to Ibarra, who attempted to play it forward for Alex McGrath. Guske deflected the pass, but only to Ouamri behind him. The striker took the first on-target shot, but it was blocked away by Otero.

The Young Lions felt they should’ve had a penalty in the 11th minute when Mohammed received the ball at the top of the box. Contact came from Jesse Williams, resulting in Mohammed going to the ground. However, Radosav didn’t see anything wrong with the challenge.

In the 18th minute, Valencia received the ball on the left. Cutting back, he found Mohammed, who quickly played it further back to Solis. The midfielder attempted to curl the ball from outside of the box inside the far post, but it was just wide.

Ibarra created a shot for himself in the 26th minute with a winding run to the top of the box. He was looking for a shot the entire time and eventually found the necessary space. However, his attempt sailed well wide of the goal.

Valencia made a run down the left and to the end line in the 29th minute. Looking to cut it back and defended by Williams, the ball went out of play. Radosav awarded OCB a corner kick, which the Chattanooga players couldn’t believe, thinking it went off of Valencia. The protests resulted in Williams getting booked.

The ensuing corner kick by Almaguer was to the near post where Mohammed met it with his head. The redirection was past Antoine and in to give the Young Lions a 1-0 lead.

“I think I’ve just trusted a lot more my teammates to get me in the right spaces,” Mohammed said about his team-leading six goals on the season. “And then I’ve just stayed patient and mentally stable to just keep going and taking on the responsibility of helping the team in any way that I can.”

Valencia almost scored a second for the Young Lions in the 35th minute. It started with a strong run into the middle by Freeman, who found Mohammed to his left. The forward played it further left for Valencia, who moved inside and found space to shoot. The attempt from outside of the box was aiming for the far post and beat Antoine but hit the woodwork.

In the 36th minute, Almaguer was tripped by Taylor Gray, earning a yellow card for the foul. More importantly, it gave OCB a free kick in a dangerous position. The set piece was off the wall and out for a corner kick. Almaguer’s ensuing ball nearly found the head of Williams, but was a bit too far in front of him. Instead, it went to the far side of the box. Kibugnuchy ran down the ball and found Mohammed in the box. The forward attempted to turn it on target, but sent the attempt over the goal.

The Young Lions won another corner kick in the 40th minute and it resulted in another good chance. Almaguer sent the set piece towards the top of the six-yard box where Williams was charging to the near post. He got his head to the ball, but sent it wide of the target.

OCB had more first-half shots (10-4) and corner kicks (4-1) than Chattanooga, but was less efficient in front of goal. Both teams put one shot on target and tallied one first-half cross. Meanwhile, Chattanooga was more accurate passing (88.5%-84.9%) than the hosts.

After controlling much of the first half, OCB continued at the start of the second 45 minutes. In the 48th minute, Ellis made a run towards the top of the box before being tripped by Viafara. Cocca stepped up to take the set piece, putting it on target, but Antoine pushed it away.

In the 52nd minute, Mohammed continued a pass from Freeman into the box for Valencia. The left-sided midfielder took a touch to his right to lose Jesse Williams and fired on goal. The attempt was on target, but Antoine tipped it over the crossbar. The ensuing corner kick was cleared by Chattanooga, ending the threat.

The visitors found their equalizer in the 56th minute with some nice work up the field between Ibarra and Ouamri. The duo passed back and forth as they made their way through the OCB defense. Ibarra dribbled right past Thomas Williams before sending Ouamri into the box. Kibunguchy looked to pick up the run, but the forward easily got past the center back with one touch. It was an easy finish for the striker as Otero dove unsuccessfully and the game was even at 1-1.

OCB made three changes in the 61st minute. Zakaria Taifi, Wilfredo Rivera, and Jackson Platts came in for Thomas Williams, Freeman, and Mohammed. While Taifi and Rivera have played regularly this season, it was Platts’ second professional appearance.

Chattanooga had a chance to take its first lead of the night in the 70th minute when McGrath and Sar-Sar played a give-and-go, setting McGrath up for a shot from the top of the box. It was towards the near post but didn’t cause much trouble for Otero, who was able to get down and make the stop.

A minute later, Valencia reached a free ball before Sar-Sar and was in on goal. As he approached the six-yard box, the midfielder opened up and aimed for the far post. It wasn’t a bad shot, but Antoine made himself big and got his left hand to it, keeping the game at 1-1.

In the 72nd minute, Rivera carried the ball towards the top of the box before sending a low shot to the back post. However, Antoine was able to get to the attempt and knocked it out of play. The ensuing corner kick by Almaguer was to the top of the six, where Cocca and Viafara attempted to head it. Both players thought the other touched it last and Radosav gave Chattanooga a goal kick.

OCB made its fourth substitution of the game in the 77th minute as Thomas Bowe replaced Ellis.

Right after the sub, Rivera had another chance from outside of the box. He used a good touch with the outside of his foot to lose two defenders and dribbled to the top of the 18. The attacker was looking to beat Antoine to his near post, but sent the shot just wide.

On the other end, it looked like Chattanooga was about to score when Ouamri played McGrath behind the OCB back line and into the box. The Chattanooga captain chipped it over Otero and Guske cleared it before it reached the goal line. It wouldn’t have counted anyway as McGrath was ruled offside.

In the 81st minute, Solis used a nice stepover to beat a pair of defenders and create space for a shot at the top of the box. It appeared as though the attempt was on target, but Antoine did well to tip it wide of the far post. The ensuing corner kick was cleared away and the Young Lions lost another chance to retake the lead.

After being kept off the scoreboard in the second half by Antoine, OCB got a golden opportunity to retake the lead in the 86th minute. It was a chance created by Valencia, who beat Williams and entered the box before being pulled down by the defender. It took a few seconds for Radosav to make the call and Valencia threw his arms up in the air, but Radosav eventually pointed to the spot.

Solis stood over the ball while Williams received treatment. When he got up, the midfielder took the spot kick and didn’t make any mistakes. Antoine stood completely still while Solis prepared to take the kick before diving to his right. Solis powered the ball high and down the middle, giving the Young Lions a 2-1 lead.

“That’s what we need, what we expect from him,” Goldberg said about Solis’ penalty conversion. “Unfortunately here it’s not congratulating him, but it’s what we expect. We, of course, are really happy that he was able to do that.”

It looked like OCB had scored the winner, but Chattanooga found a very late equalizer when an Otero punch out of the box resulted in a collision between Valencia and McGrath. It looked like Valencia got the ball, but Radosav called a foul and issued the midfielder a yellow card. The set piece by Ibarra was off the post and then Otero’s back before Kibunguchy cleared it out of play.

Luis Garcia Sosa quickly threw the ball into Ibarra who sent a cross towards the back post. Jude Arhtur out jumped Taifi, heading the ball down to where Viafara could knock it in, evening the game at 2-2.

The Young Lions had one last chance in the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time when Valencia found Rivera in front of goal. However, the attacker couldn’t control it, enabling the visitors to clear.

OCB dominated the game statistically with more shots (20-9), shots on target (8-4), and corner kicks (9-3). Both teams had three crosses in the game and Chattanooga had better passing accuracy (85.6%-80.9%).

“Lots of ups and downs like we had last game, but the other way around,” Goldberg said about the game. “But that’s how it works. You can do everything right, everything right, everything right and from one moment to the other, things can get tough. So, those are the moments to step up and get strong.”

“Obviously it’s really hard because we were winning with five minutes to go and then we couldn’t get the result. But I thought we played really well, so as a team we were amazing,” Mohammed said. “Everyone brought something to the table and it was amazing. It’s just unfortunate that we’re walking away with two less points than we would have, wanted to have. But we’ll bounce back and go again.”

Per MLS NEXT Pro rules, the game went into penalties to decide who got a second point. After watching two points go out the window with a late equalizer by the opposition, the Young Lions had their worst shootout of the season. Solis and Anatolie Prepelita converted the first two shots, but Cocca tried to go down the middle, enabling Antoine to block it with his legs. Ouamri converted his attempt and the visitors took the advantage.

Taifi was next and went for a corner, but Antoine guessed correctly and made the stop. Joseph Perez did well with his attempt, sending Otero the wrong way and making it 3-1. Valencia took the best penalty for the hosts to keep them alive, but Ibarra put his in the corner while Otero stood flat-footed to give Chattanooga the extra point.

The point sees the Young Lions sit in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They’re only one point behind New York Red Bulls II and Columbus Crew 2, but a point ahead of Inter Miami II and two points ahead of Crown Legacy FC.

OCB will look to claim its first win of this three-game homestand on June 26 when it welcomes Atlanta United 2 to Kissimmee.


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