The Orange County Blues continued their push for the 2015 USL playoffs on Saturday, beating Real Monarchs SLC for the second time in two weeks, this time by a 2-1 margin. After Jeffrey Payeras conceded a penalty around the hour mark, Max Rauhofer gave Real Monarchs the lead on a penalty. But recent addition Pavle Popara scored a double to complete the comeback, scoring a bloop header in the 63rd minute to bring OC level, before scoring the winner on a half-volley chip shot 10 minutes later.
The game got wild in the final moments, with Lucas Baldin's free kick bouncing off the post, saving the Blues' blushes, and Blues goalkeeper Pepe Miranda and Max Rauhofer were each shown red cards for their roles in a big scuffle. Brenton Griffiths was also shown a second yellow, meaning the Blues finished with nine men, and Real Monarchs with 10, but the visitors grabbed the win nonetheless.
On the bright side, Orange County grabbed another three valuable points and remain in the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. However, they will be missing both Miranda, who has started all but the opening game this season, and Griffiths, for the next game, a key one against the Austin Aztex. Will they be able to withstand the absence of two key defensive players? It's going to be interesting, no question.
If you missed the match, you can watch the highlights above.
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