Orlando City B

Match Report: Orlando City B Draws 2-2 with Carolina Core FC After Second-Half Comeback


KISSIMMEE, Fla. (June 7, 2024) – Orlando City B (4-4-4, 18 points) came back after a two-goal deficit and played Carolina Core FC (1-6-3, 8 points) to a 2-2 draw at Osceola Heritage Park on Friday night. The Lions won the end-of-regulation shootout 6-5 to take the extra point on the night. The matchup was the first time the two teams have played since Carolina became a member of MLS NEXT Pro.

Carolina Core FC looked to attack early in the match and struck just seven minutes in after an OCB foul inside the box lead to a Facundo Canete penalty kick. Just 10 minutes later, the Foxes extended their lead when Papa Ndoye was on the receiving end of a Canete assist.

The young Lions were not to be denied, however, and stormed back in the second half. Controlling much of the possession throughout the half, OCB got its break when Jacob Evans was called for a handball. Alex Freeman stepped up for the penalty kick and pulled the home side to within one. Freeman also set up the equalizer after his shot was saved by Carolina but deflected to Imanol Almaguer who scored his first goal of the season to tie the game up at 2-2.

Jhon Solís, Manuel Cocca, Shak Mohammed, Zakaria Taifi, Majed Abdullah and Nabi Kibunguchy all scored for the Lions in the end-of-regulation shootout. Goalkeeper Javier Otero made two saves to give OCB the extra point.

The Lions play again at Osceola Heritage Park when they host Chattanooga FC on Thursday June 13. That match will kick off at 7 p.m. ET on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

Scoring Summary:

7’ Facundo Canete (Penalty Kick) – CAR 1, ORL 0
Carolina Core FC were the first to strike on an early penalty kick. The visiting team created a quick chance inside the Lions’ box when Joshua Rodriguez was taken down and rewarded with a penalty kick in the sixth minute. Facundo Canete stepped up to take the ensuing kick and gave Carolina the early 1-0 lead.

17’ Papa Ndoye (Facundo Canete) – CAR 2, ORL 0
The visitors continued to put the pressure on the Lions and extended their lead in the 17th minute. Jacob Evans led Canete with a pass that got behind the OCB back line. Canete then gained control along the backline and sent a low pass to the far side of the net to Papa Ndoye who directed a shot into the open net.

72’ Alex Freeman (Penalty Kick) – CAR 2, ORL 1
Orlando City B pulled within one on a penalty kick of its own. Carolina midfielder Jacob Evans was called for a handball inside the box after a Lions’ cross. Defender Alex Freeman stepped up for the penalty kick and put the home side on the scoreboard.

86’ Imanol Almaguer – ORL 2, CAR 2
The Lions got their equalizer late in the second half from captain Imanol Almaguer. OCB got into the Carolina Core defensive zone and Freeman ripped a shot from just inside the box. An Alex Sutton save was deflected to the left of the goal to Almaguer who put in his first goal of the season.

Match Notes:

  • Orlando City B and Carolina Core FC met for the first time in Club history. Carolina became an expansion team prior to the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season.
  • Forward Yeiler Valencia made his first start of the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season. Justin Ellis also made his second start on the year and first since March 22.
  • Defender Alex Freeman scored his second goal of the 2024 season, and his first goal off a penalty kick in his MLS NEXT Pro career.
  • Captain Imanol Almaguer scored his first goal of the 2024 season on the late game equalizer.
  • Head Coach Manuel Goldberg made two changes to his starting lineup from his side’s last match against Inter Miami CF II, with Justin Ellis and Yeiler Valencia starting on the night.