The Orange County Blues left Southern Calfornia for the first time in the 2016 season on Saturday, as they faced Sacramento Republic FC at Bonney Field, and came away winners by a 1-0 score.
The win is OC's third straight, and their unbeaten streak stretches to four games. It's also the second year in a row that the Blues beat Sac Republic in Sacramento, and while it was a narrow win, it was fairly comfortable throughout.
The game's goal came early, as midfielder Pavle Popara ran onto a ball in the center of the field, eluded a defender along the edge of the box, and sent a blistering shot past Dominic Jakubek to give the Blues the lead.
From there, the visitors did what they needed to in order to keep Republic off balance, with outstanding team defense, solid passing and a couple of big plays, including a timely block on a counterattack by OC goalkeeper Brandon Miller near the end of the first half. Even as Sacramento piled on the pressure in the second half and played most of that stanza in OC's half, the Blues held firm and didn't really concede many big chances.
It seems for now, the Blues have found the formula to get results. 1-0 wins are narrow, but they put together as complete a performance as they have all season in this one. It seems like the next objective will be to get the goals to come more freely, but it seems this team is really rounding into form as the second month of the season ticks by.
Up next, the Blues host the Colorado Springs Switchbacks next Sunday at Anteater Stadium. For tonight, it looks like they are about to turn some more heads in USL with this win.
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