Orange County Blues FC were able to gain revenge for their season-opening loss on Saturday, as they defeated Arizona United SC by a resounding 3-0 score. Two goals for on-loan striker Christofer Ramirez and a tally from midfielder Luka Petricevic gave the home side a lead the previously perfect Arizona could not recover from.
The first two goals of the night came off corner kicks served in by captain Didier Crettenand. The first, in the 33rd minute, was a textbook headed finish from Ramirez, scoring his first goal for the Blues since arriving from Salvadoran side Atletico Marte. OC then doubled their lead in the 37th minute, when Petricevic picked his spot perfectly to beat traffic in the box off Crettenand's corner.
Following the break, Ramirez bagged his second goal of the night in the 52nd minute when defender Romeo Filipovic sent a 40 yard bomb to his teammate up front, and Ramirez made no mistake in burying the shot past AZ 'keeper Carl Wosczyznski.
In the minutes following the third goal, the Blues kind of shut down mentally for a time, and Arizona tried to gain a foothold back into the game, but they looked really out of sorts on the night and Orange County eventually took over again in the final 20 minutes and looked to bury their opponents even deeper. It's pretty likely that the home cooking made something of a difference in this match, as the Blues have only played at home through their three games to date and Arizona have started the season with four straight road games, and to me it seemed like United were eager to get back home and regroup on Saturday.
All in all, it remains a good win for the Blues, who continue to improve as a group and earned their second consecutive win of the young season. Now, the challenge will increase for them, as they finally take to the road and will next face reigning USL champs Sacramento Republic FC on Friday evening. It should be a very, very interesting game.
1. Christofer Ramirez: The striker, prolific in El Salvador, finally found the back of the net in his third USL game, and showed his versatility in scoring two different ways against a previously stout defense.
2. Didier Crettenand: Hey, if he keeps playing this well, maybe he'll end up one of the stars of the game 28 straight times. Setting up two goals this week to go with his strong defensive work in the midfield, Crettenand looks like a real find for Blues coach Oliver Wyss.
3. Romeo Filipovic: The imposing center back had another strong game in the back, completely shutting down AZ United before they could even test GK Pepe Miranda, and had an assist on the night to boot.
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