OCSC Holds off Phoenix and Secures an Important Three Points at Home
Orange County SC beat Pacific Division leaders Phoenix Rising FC 1-0 on Wednesday, October 13 at Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine to earn three valuable points to bring the team nearer to a USL Championship Playoff berth under the helm of interim head coach Richard Chaplow. It was OCSC's first victory against Phoenix in four attempts this season.
"Today we needed to roll up our sleeves and show character and personality," Chaplow said. "The guys came out there and did that on a difficult night against the best team in the league."
OCSC midfielder Ben Mines scored his second goal in as many games and goalkeeper Patrick Rakovsky made six saves to stave off the visitors. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and match theme Fiesta de Fùtbol, OCSC donned new specialty jerseys that were inspired by the colors that are present at Hispanic celebrations.
Within the first five minutes, OCSC had their first chance on goal off of midfielder Eric Calvillo's rising shot that was deflected off the Phoenix keeper.
In the 18', Mines scored his second goal since coming to OCSC on loan from MLS side Cincinnati FC. He had a wide-open net to shoot at from a short distance after forward Ugo Okoli laid the ball off for Mines to dribble around the keeper to create the space needed for himself to score.
"In the past, I have had two or three chances to put the ball away and I was frustrated at myself," Mines said. "I stayed cool tonight and got one so that's the important part and build off of that."
Mines's goal proved to be the difference on the offense, but it was Rakovsky's goalkeeping that kept Phoenix from equalizing. Rakovsky, who had made highlight-reel saves against Phoenix all season, was called into action in the second half after Phoenix pressed more on offense.
Rakovsky made some of his six total saves right before the final whistle by getting his glove to the ball to tip it over the bar and out of any danger of going into the back of the net. His performance was rewarded with The Dog Pawrk Brewing Co. Man of the Match.
"He [Rakovsky] kept us in the game and it was really important for us," Chaplow said. "We needed him to start big and he did that for us."
With the victory, OCSC keeps their chances to host a first-round playoff game alive as they remain in the race for second place in the division. Nonetheless, OCSC reached that much closer to securing a berth for the playoffs.
OCSC begins a final stretch of four games in 14 days with a trip up north to play Oakland Roots SC on Saturday, October 26. The black and orange return to Irvine on Wednesday, October 20 to face San Diego Loyal SC.
Orange County SC vs Phoenix Rising FC
USL Championship | October 13, 2021
Venue: Championship Soccer Stadium (Irvine, CA)
Kickoff: 7:00 PM PDT
Weather: Tacos. Mariachi. Fiesta.
18' Ben Mines (OCSC)
ORANGE COUNTY SC
45+3' Ben Mines
71' Nate Smith
90' Tommy McCabe
PHOENIX RISING FC
49' Prince Saydee
82' Arturo Rodriguez
ORANGE COUNTY SC LINEUP:
Patrick Rakovsky (GK), Kevin Alston (45' Nate Smith), Dillon Powers, Robbie Kiernan, Michael Orozco (
C ), Ronaldo Damus (89' Aidan Apodaca), Tommy McCabe, Eric Calvillo, Ugo Okoli (89' Mikko Kuningas), Ben Mines (68' Brian Iloski), Kobi Henry
Unused subs: Abraham Romero (GK), Thomas Enevoldsen, Darwin Jones
Head Coach: Richard Chaplow (Interim)
Possession: 42.3% | Shots: 12 | Shots On Goal: 8 | Corners: 5 | Fouls: 16 | Offsides: 4 |
PHOENIX RISING FC LINEUP:
Andre Rawls (GK), Manuel Madrid, Tate Schmitt, Jon Bakero ( C ) (81' David Egbo), Arturo Rodriguez, Prince Saydee (52' Santi Moar), Joey Calistri, Kevon Lambert (45' Aohdan Quinn), David Loera, James Musa, Luis Seijas (71' Darnell King)
Unused subs: Edward Delgado (GK), Jonathan Levin, Joseph Farrell
Head Coach: Rick Schantz
Possession: 57.7% | Shots: 14 | Shots On Goal: 6 | Corners: 11 | Fouls: 11 | Offsides: 4 |
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