After starting the season with two consecutive losses, the USL Lions discovered their winning touch.
Goals from Paul Clowes, Hadji Barry and Lewis Neal lifted Orlando City B to its first win of the season, defeating Toronto FC II 3-1 Tuesday night at Orlando City Stadium
“I’m obviously pleased, I thought at times during the first half we played some really good football, especially on the counter attack, I thought we looked very dangerous,” said OCB head coach Anthony Pulis. “Hadji, Richie, Austin Martz and Pierre da Silva looked very dangerous tonight, so I was pleased with that. The discipline and the togetherness they showed for that last 20-25 minute was excellent, and I thought we restricted Toronto.”
The Lions nabbed their first lead of the season in the 18th minute when da Silva passed the ball to Leonardo Pereira who crossed it straight into Clowes whose header from close range gave Orlando the 1-0 lead.
Toronto midfielder Malik Johnson equalized in the 30th minute after striking the ball from the center of the box into the bottom right corner.
The announced attendance at Orlando City Stadium on Tuesday night was 1,098.
Silva, who finished with two assists before being ejected from the game in the 69th minute, assisted Barry’s go-ahead goal in the 41st minute before setting up Neal for the insurance goal in the 51st minute.
“I was pleased with Hadji tonight, I thought he was a threat for them, that back three all night long… He got himself in some fantastic positions,” added Pulis on Barry’s first appearance for the team.
Pulis, who was strongly discontent with the lack of chemistry and the sudden addition of six Orlando City first-team players to their roster spoke on being pleased with the changes made coming into Tuesday’s game.
“We had a meeting on Sunday, and we asked the group their thoughts on everything and we really got a lot of stuff out in the open, not just football stuff, but kind of stuff off the field, and our culture, our identity, our values and our standards and what we want from the group on a daily basis,” said Pulis.
“We spoke how it’s not how you get knocked down, but how quickly we get back up, and I really wanted to see a reaction, and I think we saw a real positive reaction tonight.”
The USL Lions (1-2-0, 3 points) outshot TFC II 10-9. The visitors, however, dominated 55.2 percent of possession.
Orlando City B – GK Earl Edwards, Jr., D Kevin Alston, Léo Pereira, Zach Carroll, PC, M ⓒ Lewis Neal, Paul Clowes (Ryley Kraft 64’), Austin Martz, Pierre Da Silva, F Richie Laryea (Danny Deakin 71’), Hadji Barry (Albert Dikwa 79’)
Substitutes: GK Jake Fenlason, D Zach Ellis-Hayden, Conor Donovan, F Joe Gallardo
Toronto FC II – GK Angelo Cavalluzzo, D Oyvind Alseth, ⓒ Mitchell Taintor (Brandon Aubrey 46’), Brandon Onkony, M Liam Fraser, Brian James (Sergio Camargo 64’), Ryan Telfer, Jordan McCrary (Tsubasa Endoh 69’), F Malik Johnson, Shaan Hundal, Ricardo John
Substitutes: GK Brogan Engbers, M Anthony Osorio, , Luca Uccello, F Ben Spencer
OCB hosts the Charlotte Independence on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Orlando City Soccer Stadium.
(Photos by Adrian Hernandez / Orlando Soccer Journal)