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Dé-jà vu all over again: NYCFC II draw Orlando City B, loose penalty shootout

The Young Pigeons were the better side but didn’t get the result

The Young Piegeons have played twice, drawn twice, and came up short in penalties twice.
Photograph by Tommie Battle, courtesy

Following the same pattern as the first game of the season, New York City FC II lost in penalties to Orlando City B in MLS NEXT Pro after a 2-2 full-time score. Penalties galore and missed chances highlighted a second-straight disappointing result for the Young Pigeons that was not lacking for entertainment.

The oddities of MLS Next Pro struck again early in the first half, as viewers witnessed arguably the rarest sight in soccer: An indirect free kick inside the box for NYCFC II. The effort smashed off the crossbar and resulted in a kerfuffle within the box that surprisingly did not end in a goal.

NYCFC II were quickly punished for lack of a finishing touch in the 18th minute after a turnover in the midfield set up Orlando B’s Jack Lynn to cross the ball to Moises Tablante for an open tap-in. For the second game in a row, a costly error directly led to the opponents scoring a goal.

In the 36th minute, New York was awarded a penalty that John Denis converted, securing his second goal in as many games. But within three minutes Orlando B were ahead 2-1 after a penalty was awarded to David Boccuzzo, who went on to convert his shot. For those of you keeping count, that’s two first-half penalties for the second game in a row.

Three minutes into added time, Stephen Turnbull fed Kenan Hot who pushed the ball past Orlando B’s keeper, and who celebrated his goal with a combination of the infamous Griddy and Ronaldo’s Siuu. The half ended with the game drawn at two goals each.

The second half was filled with chances for the Young Pigeons. The crossbar and some exquisite goalkeeping kept the goals level, and that scoreline remained unchanged through the end of the game.

Per MLS NEXT Pro rules, the game went straight to a penalty shootout. Both teams earn one point for the draw, and the winner of the shootout wins an additional point. The penalties followed a similar story as they did in Matchday One. After an early miss by Orlando New York failed to convert their final penalties, losing 4-3 with Nicholas Benalcazar, Turnbull, and Stevo Bednarsky all missing their shots.

NYCFC II dominated this contest, controlling 62.6% of possession with 22 shots, 9 of them on target. NYCFC II had 3.92 xG versus Orlando’s 2.11. In many ways this was a dominant performance from New York, however the game ended in a frustrating fashion with the penalty loss. This second game provided a positive performance—the only things that were missing were those clinical finishes and composure from the penalty spot.