Orlando City B Falls To Richmond 1-0, Returns To Brevard Saturday For Home Regular Season Finale
By Orlando City B // August 28, 2016
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – In the second leg of a home-and-home series, Orlando City B (8-9-8, 32 points) fell to the Richmond Kickers (12-6-7, 43 points) in a hard-fought match by a final score of 1-0 Saturday at City Stadium.
Goalkeeper Mark Ridgers made three saves.
“I think the majority of the game we played really well. To come to a tough place like Richmond and to perform like we did I was pleased with the boys. It’s really disappointing because I didn’t feel like we deserved to lose the game at all,” OCB Head Coach Anthony Pulis said.
“But we’re still in a good position. If we can keep performing the way we performed tonight for the rest of the season I’ll be over the moon.”
The match saw First Team right back Rafael Ramos make his second consecutive start for OCB. Ramos, who is working his way back from a hamstring injury, played just over an hour before being replaced by Tyler Turner. Ramos played the first half of Sunday’s 1-1 draw against the Kickers in Melbourne.
The speedy Portuguese defender made strong plays up the right wing throughout the first half. Early in the game, Ramos made a clever move to get past one defender before cutting inside and firing an off-footed shot that went wide.
Then in the 38th minute, Ramos quickly restarted the play with a throw-in to Johnny Mendoza, who was able to get behind his defender, turn the corner and fire a low, hard cross through the penalty area.
Ridgers continued his strong play with another solid outing against the Kickers. Ridgers stopped a Braeden Troyer shot from distance in the 43rd minute. The Scotsman made three saves and was aided by several heroic blocks from center back Kyle McFadden. The Irishman headed away a close-range shot in the 59th minute and kept another ball out of the net in the 79th after it got past Rigders.
McFadden almost kept the Kickers’ lone goal out of the net when he slid onto Scott Thomsen’s shot in the 77th minute but the ball barely snuck over the line.
OCB turned up the pressure in the last 10 minutes in search of the equalizer and nearly found it. Alejandro Garcia, who came on in the 73rd minute in place of Mendoza, sprinted up the middle of the pitch with the ball before laying it off to Pierre Da Silva, whose shot was blocked away.
Then in the 90th minute, captain Lewis Neal lofted a ball for Turner, who leaped through the air and headed the ball at the far post, but Kickers goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra scampered across the box and swatted it away.
Andrew Ribeiro, who made his 20th appearance of the season, dove fearlessly head-first at a loose ball in the box before Richmond cleared. Seconds later, the Lions put the ball dangerously in the box but weren’t able to capitalize on a close opportunity.
With five games remaining, OCB sits in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, six points ahead of Bethlehem Steel FC, who lost at Louisville City tonight.
The Lions return to Titan Soccer Complex for the final time this regular season on Saturday, September 3, when they host Pittsburgh. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
OCB finishes the regular season on a four-game road trip, beginning Wednesday, Sept. 7, at Wilmington and ending Sept. 25 at Bethlehem.