MELBOURNE, Fla. (May 28, 2016) – Orlando City B (4-5-2, 14 points) used two second-half goals to defeat the Charlotte Independence (5-3-2, 17 points) 2-1 on Saturday night, as Pierre Da Silva equalized in the 53rd minute before assisting on Craig Nitti's game-winning goal in the 71st.
"I'm obviously delighted to get the win. We started off well in the first five minutes. I was pleased to get the guys in at halftime because we could tweak a couple things and the response in the second half was outstanding," OCB head coach Anthony Pulis said. "I'm really pleased with the win. We played some good stuff and defensively we were solid again. I'm just really proud of the guys' effort and the way they performed tonight."
The Lions came out strong to start the match, holding long spells of possession and thwarting Charlotte's attacks. The Independence got on the board first, though, when Brian Brown drove in from the left wing and fired a shot into the lower corner in the 33rd minute.
OCB's best opportunity of the half came in the 38th minute when Da Silva and Mikey Ambrose made a nice combination play to spring Michael Cox in the area. Charlotte goalkeeper John Berner came out to cut down the angle and the ball popped back out to Cox, whose header rang off the bar.
OCB came out rejuvenated in the second half and fought back in the 53rd minute on a great team play. Da Silva made a run through the middle, playing several nice give-and-go's before slotting the ball into the bottom corner for the equalizer. It was the 17-year-old's first professional goal.
The Lions took the lead in the 71st when Da Silva delivered a great in-swinging free kick into the box, which Nitti headed into the back of the net. The goal was Nitti's first goal of the season, as well as Da Silva's first assist of the year.
The Independence made a slew of changes late in the match to try and equalize but were unsuccessful. OCB was able to catch Charlotte on the counterattack and almost made it a two-goal lead several times.
OCB returns to action when it hosts Louisville City FC on Sunday, June 5, at Titan Soccer Complex. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. E.T. Tickets to all OCB home matches are available at OrlandoCitySC.com or by calling 855-ORL-CITY