FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - 16-year-old Wilfredo Rivera and 18-year-old Kenji Tanaka each scored their first professional goals for Orlando City B to earn their side a 1-0 away win against 10-man New England Revolution II on Friday night at Gillette Stadium. The result marks just the second time that OCB has picked up three points on the road in League One.
The first half started off slow, but came to life quickly. OCB pressed high and won the ball in dangerous areas on a few occasions, but the Lions' high line left space in behind for the Revs II attackers to exploit.
New England winger Mayele Malango was a constant threat down the right flank, blazing a powerful half volley over the bar in the opening stages and later whipping in an excellent cross that narrowly missed two onrushing teammates.
The two biggest moments before halftime happened back-to-back in the 37th and 38th minutes. A fluid New England team move nearly culminated in a goal, but Damian Rivera's shot was cleared off the line by OCB defender Juan Pablo Monticelli.
As Orlando counter-attacked the other way, Revs II defender Ryo Shimazaki forgot he was already on a yellow and intentionally tugged the shirt of Moises Tablante to stop the break. The referee didn't hesitate to brandish a second yellow and then a red card, reducing New England to 10 men.
New England came out aggressively in the second half despite being a man down. They nearly took the lead when the ball fell to Isaac Angking in the box, but his shot was straight at OCB keeper Austin Aviza.
Around the hour mark, OCB finally began to turn the screw, and they got their reward shortly after. On 66 minutes, the Lions' Jonathan Rosales pinged a lovely long diagonal in to Moises Tablante, who sent a cross over the head of Revs' goakeeper Joe Rice and into the path of the oncoming Rivera.
Rivera headed the ball home to make it 1-0, and OCB looked comfortable in seeing out the result from there. Tanaka added an insurance goal at the beginning of stoppage time, again set up by Tablante, and the Lions left Massachusetts with their first win of the new season.
After a difficult campaign last year, OCB fans and coaches will be encouraged by such a strong showing from the club's young players. Tablante in particular looked lively, recording two assists and nearly scoring himself after a series of stepovers and a curling shot that was tipped wide by Rice.
Both teams now have a week off before returning to the field for their respective third matches of the League One season.