Orange County Win Big Against Las Vegas
IRVINE, Calif. - Orange County SC picked up a much-needed three points against Las Vegas on Friday night.
Wearing blue for the first time since 2016, Orange County SC took on Las Vegas Lights FC. The match was back and forth through the first 20 minutes, with both sides looking to score quickly on breakaways. OC looked to play over the top of the Lights' high defensive line, but a number of attacks were stifled by the visitor's offside trap.
Vegas struggled to play through the lines, with the OC midfield aiding the defense in looking impenetrable.
Despite set pieces for both sides, neither team could capitalize on the opportunities and open up an early lead.
Shortly before the half hour mark, Mobi Fehr took down Darwin Jones on a counterattack just outside of the Vegas box. The Lights' defender was immediately given his marching orders and OC found themselves with a man advantage with an hour still to play.
With a man advantage, Orange County were more patient in possession, comfortable to force the visitors to chase.
A few minutes before halftime, Vegas goalkeeper Lolo Delgado was injured. The goalkeeper had come out to catch a cross but fell over one of his defenders, leading to a lengthy delay while he received treatment.
There were four minutes of added time following the delay, but both teams went into the half scoreless.
Less than a moment after the second half began, Seth Moses was booked for a heavy challenge on Jones in the middle of the park.
Orange County's first opportunity of the half came five minutes later, as Brian Iloski's wide cross fell to Ugo Okoli's feet, but Delgado did well to save the one-on-one. OC continued to push forward in search of the lead, while Vegas looked off the pace and was resigned to chasing the pace of the match.
Play was quick as OC built repeated attacks. Still, the visitors were able to prevent the final ball from reaching the back of the net.
Just before the hour mark, Las Vegas went down to nine men as Seth Moses received his second yellow of the night. The midfielder was irate and took a moment to leave the field.
OC wasted no time in breaking the deadlock as Jones scored his first goal of the season just four minutes later. Okoli fired a low cross across the six-yard box and Jones had a simple tap in at the far post.
Okoli was booked just before the restart.
Danny Crisostomo replaced Kevin Alston a moment later. With a lead, OC dominated the run of play, slowly moving forward in search of a second goal. There were a number of chances for Orange County as the match entered its final 20 minutes, with Vegas sitting deep in their own half in an attempt to limit the damage.
Attacking play cooled following the second hydration break, and Nathan Smith was booked for an accumulation of fouls a few moments later. Still, OC held all the cards as the visitors did little to work back into the match.
Danny Finlayson replaced fellow Rangers loanee Cammy Palmer just before time expired. The move pushed Crisostomo back into the midfield as OC shored up its defense with four minutes of added time.
Francis Jacobs made his professional debut as the final substitution for Orange County, replacing Jones, the goalscorer. The 15-year-old midfielder didn't have time to make an impact as referee Omeed Azadpour blew for full-time seconds later.
OC moved into third place, level on points with LA Galaxy II with three matches remaining in 2020.
63': 1-0 Darwin Jones (Ugo Okoli)
29': (LV) Mobi Fehr (red)
43': (OC) Michael Orozco (yellow)
45': (LV) Seth Moses (yellow)
54': (LV) Javan Torre (yellow)
59': (LV) Seth Moses (second yellow, red)
64': (OC) Ugo Okoli (yellow)
67': (LV) Junior Burgos (yellow)
69': (OC) Aodhan Quinn (yellow)
81': (OC) Nathan Smith (yellow)
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