COLUMBUS, Ohio (Oct. 1, 2023) – No. 5 Orlando City B dropped a 2-1 result against No. 3 Columbus Crew 2 at Historic Crew Stadium on Sunday night. The loss put an end to OCB’s first MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs appearance, with the Club bowing out of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
OCB and Crew 2 kicked off an intense first 30 minutes, with both sides pushing to draw first blood. Crew 2 ended up opening the scoring on the night, following a called penalty. OCB goalkeeper Javier Otero denied Gibran Rayo’s initial strike, but Noah Fuson was there to bury the rebound. The Lions responded by leveling the match just four minutes later off Franco Pérez’s first goal of the 2023 campaign.
Both teams struggled to take the lead in the second half, despite the ramped-up intensity resulting in both sides being reduced to 10 men in second-half stoppage time. Ultimately, Crew 2 would take the lead following their second penalty of the night. OCB attempted to make one final push to the level match, falling short in the final minutes of the game.
The Lions finished their 2023 campaign with a 13-10-5 regular-season record, amassing 46 points on the year.
33’ Noah Fusan – CLB 1, ORL 0
Columbus Crew scored the first goal of the evening after being granted a penalty kick following a called foul in the box. Crew 2's Gibran Rayo stepped up to deliver, with the initial strike being saved by OCB goalkeeper Javier Otero. Noah Fuson then launched the ball into the net off of the rebound strike.
37’ Franco Pérez (Shak Mohammed) – ORL 1, CLB 1
The Lions leveled the score just four minutes later when Shak Mohammed brought the ball across the field and finding Franco Pérez, sending him the ball with a cross just outside of the box. Pérez gave it the final touch from the left side of the goal, past Crew 2’s Stanislav Lapkes.
90+1’ Marco Micaletto (Penalty Kick) – CLB 2, ORL 1
The hosts retook the lead in second-half stoppage time following another called penalty. Crew 2’s captain Marco Micaletto stepped up to the spot and slotted the ball into the left side of the net for the late lead.
- The match served as Orlando City B’s first appearance in MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs.
- Defender Franco Pérez tallied his first goal of the 2023 campaign.
- Shak Mohammed picked up his fourth helper of the year off of Pérez’s equalizer.
- OCB goalkeeper Javier Otero recorded his fifth penalty-kick save of the season during regulation time, seeing a further two attempts missed.
- OCB was reduced to nine men during second-half stoppage time following red cards to Cristofer Acuña and Javier Otero.
- Dominic Pereira made his third appearance of the season, coming in as a second half substitute.
- Head Coach Martín Perelman made two changes to his starting lineup from his side’s last match against FC Cincinnati 2, with Shak Mohammed and Thomas Williams returning to the starting XI.