Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida was the site of Orlando City B’s shootout victory over the visiting New England Revolution II. OCB edged the visitors by a 4-3 margin in the conclusion, which followed two scoreless halves of regulation.
Orlando City B earned its second shootout victory of the season, thanks in big part to two New England Revolution II players sending their shots wide of the goal. Alejandro Granados went down as the hero when he sealed the shootout victory for OCB in the fifth round of the shootout.
It’ll be a tough shootout loss for New England Revolution II as they dominated the game from the opening whistle in regulation. Revs II controlled most of the possession (56%) and total shots (20), but could not find the back of the net. What's more Orlando City B even closed out the game with a numbers disadvantage after Erick Gunera-Calix received his second yellow card of the night in the 68th minute, adding to Revs II's frustrations.
Goalkeeper Javier Otero and the Orlando City B defense were rock solid in the back even with 10 men. Revs II had a clear-cut opportunity near the end of regulation when substitute Hikaru Fujiwara attempted a shot in the six-yard box but was blocked by an Orlando City B defender to set the stage for the shootout.
Even though they were able to earn the shootout victory tonight, Orlando City B walks away hoping to generate more offensive spark. The last OCB goal in regulation came during the April 3rd game against NYCFC II, which also resulted in a shootout victory. Martín Perelman’s men are still in the Eastern Conference playoff picture following the result, currently standing in fifth place in with seven points, and will travel next week to face RNY FC.
While New England Revolution II remains undefeated, today’s shootout loss will certainly stick in the team’s mind having the upper hand for most of the game. Revs 2 will face off against fellow Eastern Conference foe Inter Miami II at home next week.
The Story: The Steadying Presence of OCB’s Goalkeeper Javier Otero
From the opening match of the Orlando City B’s MLS NEXT Pro season, Otero has proved to be invaluable in goal.
While the offense struggled to generate chances during Sunday's match, Otero and his backline fought hard to keep OCB in the game, erasing many dangerous opportunities to keep New England Revolution II at bay. Ultimately, these defensive efforts paid off after Orlando City B earned two valuable points by winning the shootout.
If the eye test isn't enough, the the19-year-old goalkeeper has the stats backing him up. Otero achieved an impressive -1.6 XG against New England Revolution II in his latest masterpiece. This marked his fourth game keeping a negative rating out of the five he has started this season. Also after Sunday's match, Otero leads the league in clean sheets with two and total saves with a whopping 30, eight more than the next closest goalkeeper.
If Orlando City B can jumpstart its offense, it can rest well knowing the steady presence of Otero will continue to save points.