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Pattern intact: Orange County Blues 3, Sacramento Republic 3

Plenty to see here, as the teams split points.

Liza Rosales/OC Blues FC

The Orange County Blues and Sacramento Republic played to an entertaining 3-3 draw on Sunday at Anteater Stadium, in a game that featured both teams holding the lead, a red card, a penalty, a brace and much more.

Sacramento took the lead in the 21st minute, as off a short corner routine, Mike da Fonte hit a wicked volley just inside the far post. They held the lead until just after the break, when Didier Crettenand converted a penalty to tie up the game.

The Blues then grabbed their first lead of the game in the 72nd minute, as Akwafei Ajeakwa sent a beautiful cross to the backpost for Trevin Caesar, who finished the chance.

But Sac Republic didn’t say die, as they tied it at 2-2 seven minutes later, courtesy of a Cameron Iwasa header off a free kick.

It seemed like OC would grab all three points as Crettenand scored his second goal of the game off an outstanding free kick in the final 10 minutes.

But Sacramento pinned them back once more, as Mackenzie Pridham stuck with a cross in the box and sent an acrobatic finish to beat Jake Cohen to make it 3-3.

Da Fonte received his second yellow card in the final minutes and was sent off, but the Blues could not capitalize and retake the lead for a final time.

The result leaves the Blues’ lose-then-draw/win streak intact, and gives them a result against a solid team. At the same time, dropping a second-half lead twice is tough, especially when every point is probably going to be crucial come playoff time. From a spectator’s perspective, however, a rip-roaring 3-3 draw is pretty entertaining to watch, something that’s an asset of USL in general.

Orange County’s next game will be on Saturday on the road, as they face OKC Energy for the first time this season.

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