MELBOURNE, Fla. (April 1, 2016) - Orlando City B (0-1-1, 1 point) battled with a man down for most of the second half to keep a clean sheet and draw the Charleston Battery (1-0-1, 4 points) 0-0 in a rainy match on Friday evening at the Titan Soccer Complex.
“I thought the boys defended absolutely fantastic all night long. We were very disappointed with the sending off, but these things happen and we have to get on with it. The attitude, the intensity, the willingness of the boys to put their bodies on the line I thought was fantastic,” said OCB Head Coach Anthony Pulis. “We could've ended up nicking it in the end on a couple of counters, but we’ll take the point, it gets us going, a clean sheet is fantastic.”
The Lions displayed a compact, diligent and organized defensive performance to keep the backline intact, highlighted by debutant Scottish goalkeeper Mark Ridgers, who was named the Man of the Match.
Ridgers frustrated the Battery’s efforts throughout the 90 minutes, registering six saves in a heroic performance to aid in recording City’s first clean sheet of the campaign. The 25-year-old’s most outstanding plays came early on each half - by denying attacker Ricky Garbanzo’s open strike from inside the box in the eighth minute and stopping a well-struck low effort from 14-yards out with an impressive dive toward his left side 10 minutes into the second half.
Four minutes into the second 45, the Lions went down to 10 players after Tony Rocha received his second yellow card of the fixture for a foul against Battery’s Zach Prince. However, OCB’s overall team effort showcased the defensive solidity performed during the preseason, by denying Charleston from finding the back of the net after 21 shots taken - resulting in the team’s first point of the season.
OCB’s best chance came in the first half when skillful winger Pierre Da Silva managed to get a powerful strike from the edge of the box, but Charleston’s keeper Alexander Tambakis controlled the shot from the Orlando City Academy product.
Charleston came close to taking the lead five minutes before the final whistle, when Michael Chang’s low effort bounced off the far post, and the rebound was deflected to the corner kick after a successful sliding challenge from Tyler Turner.
Orlando City B hits the road for the first time this season on Saturday, April 9, to visit Louisville City at the Louisville Slugger Field. Kickoff is set at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Orlando City B GK Mark Ridgers, D Zach Ellis-Hayden, Craig Nitti, Tyler Turner, Michael Ambrose, M Tony Rocha, Andrew Ribeiro, Lewis Neal (Johnny Mendoza 30’), Pierre DaSilva (Marius Obekop 58’), Richie Laryea (Keegan Smith 58’), F William Eyang (Bryan Rochez 71’)
Substitutes: GK Jake Fenlason, D Jack McCloskey, F Michael Cox
Charleston Battery - GK Alexander Tambakis, D Quinton Griffith, Taylor Mueller, Shawn Ferguson, O'Brian Woodbine, M Maikel Chang, Zach Prince (Dante Marini 67’), Justin Portillo, Ataullah Guerra (Neveal Hackshaw 73’), F Ricky Garbanzo, Heviel Cordovés (Romario Williams 65’)
Substitutes: GK Odisnel Cooper, D Forrest Lasso, Emmanuel Adjetey, M Neveal Hackshaw, F Austin Savage
Time of Match: 7:30 p.m. ET
April 1, 2016
OCB - Tony Rocha 6’ (Yellow Card)
OCB - Tony Rocha 50’ (Second Yellow Card; Red Card)
OCB - Keegan Smith 76’ (Yellow Card)