Michael Cox’s lone goal in the ninth minute lifted Orlando City B to its first home victory of the season after a 1-0 win over FC Montreal on Sunday at Titan Soccer Complex in Melbourne.
Lewis Neal orchestrated the goal when his header from a cross connected with Cox to head the ball past the goalkeeper.
“It was obviously hard work. It was a long 90 minutes for us,” OCB head coach Anthony Pulis said. “Obviously we get a man sent off again. This time we were a goal up, which makes a difference. We had something to hang on to, something to defend, and I thought the guys did magnificently. We tweaked a couple things at half time and thankfully it worked. I thought our shape was good. I thought the discipline, the work ethic, stuff that we do on a daily basis with them that sometimes they think is boring. But it’s important and it’s what got us a result tonight.”
OCB played with 10 men after defender Devron Garcia was issued a straight red card in the 19th minute after a last-man tackle on a Montreal player during a counterattack.
Mark Ridgers finished with five saves for for the USL Lions, including a crucial save seconds before the final whistle.
Sunday’s game was also the first time Conor Donovan made an appearance on the field after sustaining an ACL injury last year in MLS with the first team.
“I thought Conor did great,” Pulis said. “[He] is a fantastic, fantastic boy. He’s got a great attitude. He’s the first in, last out every day. He lives for football and he does everything in his power to be a good player and to be the best player he can possibly be.”
“I thought he did great tonight. It’s not easy when you haven’t played for nine months but I thought he slotted in and did well.”
Garcia, Richie Laryea, Harrison Heath, Tyler Turner and Bryan Róchez were the other Orlando City first-team players that were featured in Sunday’s game.
OCB (2-4-1, 7 points) hosts FC Cincinnati on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Melbourne.
Orlando City B starting XI (N/A): Ridgers; Turner, Donovan, Garcia, Mikey Ambrose; Laryea, Heath, Tony Rocha, Neal, Róchez; Cox
FC Montreal starting XI (N/A): N/A