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OCB Claims Big Playoff Boost

By CHRIS HOCKMAN – chris.hockman@uslsoccer.com, 09/23/17, 9:45PM EDT

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Neal scores late to deny Charleston a place in USL Cup Playoffs


Photo Courtesy Mark Thor/Orlando City B

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando City B gave its USL Cup Playoffs chances a significant boost as it managed a 2-1 win over the Chatleston Battery at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday night. Orlando City B youngster Pierre da Silva opened the scoring in the 31st minute after receiving the ball in space and hitting a powerful strike from 30 yards out that caromed in off the right post and into the back of the net. Charleston's Heviel Cordoves continued his good form, equalizing in the 81st minute after a cut back from Quinton Griffith allowed the Cuban forward the space to turn and shoot for his fourth goal in the past three games. OCB stole all three points in the 87th minute, however, as Lewis Neal was able to scramble a ball to goal, which was mishandled by the keeper to give Orlando the win. A brilliant offside trap from OCB stopped Romario Williams from opening the scoring in the 28th minute thanks to a smart step up by Connor Donovan. Da Silva very nearly doubled the lead for Orlando in the 51st minute when he got on the end of a cross and hit a spectacular shot which was well saved, but Neal's late heroics moved Orlando into seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

Scoring:
31’ – ORL – Pierre da Silva (Lewis Neal)
81’ – CHS – Heviel Cordoves (Quinton Griffith)
87’ – ORL – Lewis Neal

Three Things That Matter:

  • 1. Needing only a draw to seal a place in the 2017 USL Cup Playoffs, Charleston struggled to finish the chances that presented themselves managing just five shots on target in the match. That poor finishing was punished by Orlando in the 87th minute, keeping the Battery waiting a little longer to claim a seventh consecutive postseason berth. 

  • 2. OCB got just its third home win of the season in dramatic fashion, solidifying its place in the top eight in the USL Eastern Conference in the process. It was Orlando’s first home win since defeating Ottawa Fury FC on August 16th, with the side having fallen to the Richmond Kickers and tying Bethlehem Steel FC since then.

  • 3. A formidable defensive performance kept OCB in a position to claim the win, as the side's defense made strong tackles throughout the match. Orlando didn’t miss a single of the 10 the side engaged in throughout the match and blocked three shots to help lock down the Battery's potent attack.

Lewis Neal, Orlando City B – Scoring the winner and providing the assist on the opener, Neal was vital for Orlando in the win. Neal was impressive on the ball, completing 91.8 percent of his passes and creating two chances.

Upcoming Games:
Orlando City B vs. Richmond Kickers – October 1, 5 p.m. ET, City Stadium
Charleston Battery vs. Ottawa Fury FC – October 1, 2 p.m. ET, TD Place Stadium

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