The Orange County Blues put on a fantastic performance against Seattle Sounders 2 on Saturday night, scoring five straight goals after going down 0-2, ultimately winning 5-2, all in the second half. When people question why 2-0 is the "most dangerous lead in soccer," you can send them this game film as Exhibit A.
The first half featured both sides taking turns forcing pressure on their offensive end. Seattle started out on the strong foot, but the Blues reversed that after five minutes, and held the pressure on for roughly 20 minutes. S2 came back and forced three straight corners, but the OC defense held firm. The Blues ended the half pressuring the Baby Sounders’ defense and goalkeeper Charlie Lyon, but were unable to put anything on the board.
The action turned up several notches in the second half, and boy was it entertaining.
Three minutes after the second half kickoff, S2’s Andy Craven puts the visitors ahead, and the Blues seemingly on the back foot. Craven then drew a penalty after Roy Meeus tripped him inside the box in the 55th, and finished the penalty kick past OC goalkeeper Josh Cohen.
Nightmare for Orange County? You’d think so, but no. Head Coach Oliver Wyss subbed in Akwafei Ajeakwa, Trevin Caesar and Oriol Cortes at halftime, and despite giving up two goals early in the half, the home side kept charging forward.
Ajeakwa scored his first professional goal in the 60th minute off a cross from Jack McCracken, making a fantastic diving header sending the ball to the far side of the net. This truly remarkable effort should be noted as one of the top goals of the season.
The momentum kept in Orange County’s favor, as two minutes later, S2’s Jordan Schweitzer was shown a red card for a harsh tackle on Ajeakwa, and Seattle had to finish with ten men.
Two minutes after that, the referee played advantage as Roy Meeus was tripped outside the box while the ball rolled inside to the foot of Pavle Popara about 20 yards away from the frame. The Serbian midfielder took advantage of some open space in front of him and curled a shot past Lyon to equalize.
In the 71st minute, Orange County found the game winner, as Brenton Griffiths tapped in a free kick from Roy Meeus that bounced around in the box.
Orange County would end up scoring two more to fully insure three points. Meeus finished a penalty late in the game and Joe Baccielo slotted past Lyon on a wide open breakaway in stoppage time, as S2’s last defender was down with an injury.
All in all, Orange County played one of their best matches of the season, if not their best. The win brings them back to .500 at 4-4-3, and gives them a massive amount of confidence going into their next match, one week from Saturday in Peoria, Arizona against Arizona United.
How crazy was this game? Let us know in the comments!