They did it. The Orange County Blues defeated the LA Galaxy II 2-0 on Saturday night at Anteater Stadium on the back of strong defensive play and a brace by Trevin Caesar. The win is the Blues’ second all-time in the 405 Derby, and first this season against their local rivals. It also snaps a two-game losing streak for OC.
Perhaps the biggest key to the win was the strong defensive play of the night by the hosts. LA have beaten OC the past year and a half consistently by beating them over the top or through the center backs with a throughball to a striker. But on this night, the Blues kept enough numbers back to clog passing lanes and keeping starting centerbacks Maurice Pluntke and Brenton Griffiths on the same page throughout. And it worked.
From there, OC capitalized on the strong defense with periodic counterattacks, with the first one paying off around the 20 minute mark, as Christopher Santana played a lovely diagonal throughball into the box for Caesar, who slotted it past LA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy to make it 1-0.
Caesar scored his second of the night just after the hour mark, as he was in place to capitalize on a mix-up in the Galaxy II defense, pounce on the loose ball, and beat Kennedy once again. Caesar has really found form of late, and it surely paid off in all ways for the Blues.
The game became increasingly chippy as it progressed, but this one featured cooler tempers than the first two meetings between these sides (with the exception of Galaxy II perpetual hothead Bryam Rebellon). But it was one of the Blues’ best performances this season, no question.
So mission accomplished for Orange County in this game. They don’t have much time to savor the result, however, as they have a trip back to Oklahoma to face the Tulsa Roughnecks on Thursday. Their last two road trips have been unsuccessful — will the third time be a charm?
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