The Orange County Blues recorded their first point of the 2016 season on Friday, drawing local rivals LA Galaxy II 1-1 at the StubHub Center. Since it was a derby game, there was plenty of grit and chippy play, but full credit to the Blues for sticking with the game, limiting the chances by LA's potent attack and digging deep to find a goal of their own.
Trevin Caesar had the Blues' first good chance of the game, as he got the ball on the breakaway and dinked the ball past Dan Kennedy, in goal for Galaxy II on a rehab start, in the 21st minute, with the ball literally going just the wrong side of the post and out of bounds.
Jose Villarreal had the game's first goal in the 68th minute, as he took a pass in the box and buried it past OC goalkeeper Brandon Miller.
But the Blues kept fighting, and got the equalizer in the 74th minute when Didier Crettenand's free kick from the left side of the box floated to the far post and beat Kennedy.
Former Blues Jefrey Payeras and Denzel Slager started for Galaxy II in the game, and Slager had a very strong hour or so for his new team, although he also nearly initiated a brawl between the teams before cooler heads prevailed in the second half.
It was nice to see Crettenand grab a goal after hitting the post in each of the first two games, and Caesar and Akwafei Ajeakwa looked dangerous once again up top. Expect them to get scoring soon, and well done to the entire defensive unit for playing well and keeping LA frustrated for most of the evening.
The Blues' next game is against a new USL club, San Antonio FC, next Saturday at home at Anteater Stadium. It should be a good match, and it will be interesting to see if OC can grab a win the next time out.
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