The Orange County Blues reached their latest accomplishment on Friday night at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Wash., as they beat the Seattle Sounders FC 2 for the first time ever by a 1-0 scoreline. A second-half goal by Chris Cortez was the difference as the Blues continued their upward trajectory in the win column and in the standings.
Truth be told, I missed much of the game because the Sounders did not have a working stream. In the second half, they broadcast a feed on periscope, so that allowed those of us not in Tukwila to get a sense of what was happening. So for the most part, this is a just the facts kind of recap, out of necessity.
From the sound of it, not a lot of note happened in the first half anyway, and the teams finished the first 45 scoreless.
After the restart, the Blues began to turn on the pressure, eventually grabbing the go-ahead goal in the 57th minute via Cortez, who took down a long pass and beat S2 goalkeeper Charlie Lyon. The Blues subsequently had multiple chances to pad their lead, with a shot off the post, and two very late breakaway chances, the first saved by an onrushing Lyon and the second seemingly destined for the back of the net after patiently waiting for an opening in goal, only for the shot to sail over the net altogether.
No matter, because the Blues did what they needed to, bunkering down enough after taking the lead to frustrate S2, and taking a valuable three points. For the Sounders, their quest to nail down the final playoff slot in the Western Conference will go down to a must-win season finale, while for OC, their win puts them in a tie with the first-place team, Colorado Springs Switchbacks, pending the outcome of the rest of the weekend's action.
That also includes the Blues' next match, which will be Sunday afternoon against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 in British Columbia. Can they continue their hot run to end the regular season and ensure the top slot in the West by weekend's end? Their fate is nearly in their hands at this point, with two games left in the season.
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