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Following back-to-back away games, Orlando City B (8-8-8, 32 points) returned home to draw 1-1 against the Richmond Kickers (11-6-7, 24 points) on Sunday evening at Titan Soccer Complex. The draw extends OCB’s home unbeaten streak to four.
Goalkeeper Mark Ridgers, who entered the match leading the Eastern Conference in saves, started the match making impressive saves. First, in the 13th minute, Ridgers dove to his right to stop a fine strike from forward Anthony Grant. Eight minutes later, the Scotsman made another impressive save, stretching his left foot to prevent a dangerous shot from Yudai Imura from going in.
City took the lead two minutes before the break after Richie Laryea earned a dubious penalty after allegedly being dragged down inside the box by defender Alex Lee. Canadian striker Michael Cox finished calmly from the spot to score his 10th goal of the season.
The Kickers deservedly leveled the match in the 53rd minute when striker Anthony Grant tapped in a delivery from winger Sunny Jane. After the goal the visitors took a grip of the game and looked the most dangerous side.
The Lions were not to be outdone though and speedy midfielder Johnny Mendoza’s powerful left-footed shot went inches over the bar in the 69th minute. Cox then went close to to scoring his second of the evening on two occasions. First in the 79th minute he forced goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra (Pictured below) to make a diving save. Then seconds before the final whistle, he powered a shot from the edge of the six-yard box that Dykstra managed to stop.
Richmond went down a man in the 85th minute when Michael Callaham received his second yellow card of the match.
Pulis’ side featured First Teamer Rafael Ramos, who returned to the pitch and played the first half after being out since June 29 due to injury.
“Really proud of the players tonight – the work rate, the attitude, the character, the togetherness that they showed was fantastic after a two game road trip that has been difficult for us,” OCB Head Coach Anthony Pulis said. “I thought they showed a lot of strength and adversity tonight and I’m really proud of them.”
OCB faces Richmond again when they travel to City Stadium on Saturday, August 27th. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. ET. The Lions return to Titan Soccer Complex on Saturday, September 3, when they host Pittsburgh. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Orlando City B – GK Mark Ridgers, D Rafael Ramos (Tyler Turner 46’), Zach Hayden, Craig Nitti, Kyle McFadden, M Johnny Mendoza (Alejandro Garcia 78’), Richie Laryea (Keegan Smith 86’), Harrison Heath (Lewis Neal 66’), Andrew Ribeiro, Pierre Da Silva, F Michael Cox
Substitutes: GK Jake Fenlason, D Conor Donovan, Antonio Matarazzo
Richmond Kickers – GK Andrew Dykstra, D Alex Lee (Jackson Eskay 82’), Braeden Troyer, Hugh Roberts, William Yomby, M Miguel Aguilar, Yudai Imura, Fred Owusu Sekyere (Michael Callahan 60’), Samuel Asante (Brian Ownby 45 + 1’) (Scott Thomsen 66’) , Sunny Jane (Romulo Peretta 90’) ,F Anthony Grant
Substitutes: GK Mark Nankervis, D Travis Pittman