The first clear chance of the game came for the home side. At the 11th minute, forward Hadji Barry dribbled two defenders and took the shot. Goalkeeper Matt Pickens had to dive into his right-hand side to intercept the ball and collect it later.
In the 24th minute, the Rowdies had their first chance from the free-kick spot. Ex-Wolfsburg player, Marcel Schäfer, shot and goalkeeper Jake Fenlason dove into his right side to send the ball to a corner kick.
Ten minutes later, Rowdies’ Schäfer would have another chance after receiving the ball in the box and finding space to take the shot. However, the ball hit the crossbar and left for a throw-in. Every OCB fan at the stadium thanked that crossbar.
A minute before the end of the first half, Tampa’s captain and ex-Chelsea player, Joe Cole, showed his experience after dribbling home defenders and finding his way into the box. The English shot but the ball went slightly wide of Fenlason’s goal.
The first minutes of the second half were locked. The match was mostly disputed in the middle of the field with occasional chances for each side.
The goal came in the 76th minute when the visiting side had a corner kick. Schäfer executed the corner kick, and the ball found forward Georgi Hristov who headed the ball in leaving Fenlason with nothing to do. Tampa Bay Rowdies’ crowd went crazy after seeing such a beautiful goal.
Unfortunately, for the Lions that was not it. Because in compensation time forward Sebastián Guenzatti stole the ball from Orlando’s defender, Zachary Ellis-Hayden, leaving the visiting striker in front of Fenlason. The Uruguayan dribbled past Fenlason and scored the easiest goal of his career. After this goal, everyone could feel the sadness of the home players who saw the playoff spot banish.
The match registered a total ball possession of 46% and a total of seven shots (two on target) for Orlando City B. Meanwhile, the Rowdies had 54% of the ball possession a total of fourteen shots (three on target). Midfielder Pierre Da Silva, midfielder Martin Vingaard, defender Hunter Gorskie, and defender Zachary Portillos were issued yellow cards.
Orlando City B head coach, Anthony Pulis, talked about his future with the team after the match. “I don’t know if I am going to be the coach next season. In the next two weeks, there will be discussions, and we’ll see what happens.”
OCB’s midfielder and captain, Lewis Neal, also stated about his future in a postgame press conference. “I have no idea what next season holds to me. I have to wait and see what comes from the office people…”
Orlando City B starting line-up: Jake Fenlason; Zachary Ellis-Hayden, Zach Carroll, Timbó, Kevin Alston; Tony Rocha, Lewis Neal (C); Hadji Barry, Jordan Schweitzer, Pierre Da Silva; Michael Cox.
Tampa Bay Rowdies starting line-up: Matt Pickens; Darnell King, Hunter Gorskie, Neill Collins, Zachary Portillos; Martin Vingaard, Marcel Schäfer; Walter Restrepo, Joe Cole (C), Georgi Hristov; Sebastián Guenzatti.