The Orange County Blues can look at Saturday's game against OKC Energy FC in Oklahoma City two ways: As a positive for grabbing a point in a 2-2 draw, and in a negative light for dropping the lead twice to get pegged back for the draw. It's ok to draw one's own conclusions based on the performance, but getting a point on the road to snap a two-game losing streak isn't a bad way to end the ventures out of California for the time being.
Christopher Santana grabbed his first goal of the season, and opened the scoring on the night, when he sent in a shot off a corner kick to beat Evan Newton in the 20th minute. Someone on the Blues had a chance to double their lead nearly 10 minutes later, but the stream was horrible for the entire game so it was hard to make out some parts of the game, and the shot went off the crossbar.
The Blues held onto that lead for most of the rest of the half, but Danni Konig scored the first of his brace on the night in the 38th minute, when he followed up on a shot that Pepe Miranda blocked but coughed up a big rebound, and blasted it past the Blues 'keeper. Three minutes later, Konig nearly grabbed the lead on a long ball over the top, but a Blues defender did just enough to prevent the open net tap-in to keep the score level.
The visitors then grabbed the lead once again in the 52nd minute, when Dutch winger Denzel Slager, a welcome addition back to the lineup on the night, received a pass in the box from newcomer Pavle Popara and made no mistake in converting, his third goal of the season.
After that, the Blues seemed to mostly bunker on defense and pray, but when the Blues got the ball out of their own end, OKC came roaring back in the 62nd minute, as former Chivas USA forward Casey Townsend led a counterattack and sent a terrific cross to Konig, ghosting past lax OC defending to head it in and tie up the game once again.
The game was back and forth the rest of the way, but OKC had the better of the remaining chances, including one in stoppage time as Konig's bid for a hat trick was denied by Miranda, preserving the draw.
As a result of the draw, the Blues get a bit of breathing room in the final playoff spot, as they sit one point ahead of Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 and Arizona United SC with the Sunday slate of games yet to be played. Clearly, getting a point is better than getting no points, and the Blues also take the season series against Energy FC.
Coming up next, another midweek game, and this one is a biggie, against boogeyman side LA Galaxy II on Thursday. Can the Blues rest up after returning home and somehow break their duck against the local rivals? It should be an interesting game, no doubt.
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