Dzenan Catic came off the bench for Rio Grande Valley late in a 0-0 game, and broke Orange County Blues hearts.
Catic’s 80th minute strike gave RGVFC the lead and eventually, three points, as the Texas side beat the Blues 1-0 on Saturday night at Anteater Stadium.
The result means the Blues will almost certainly have to win their final game of the regular season, and get help from several teams, to clinch a USL playoff berth.
Orange County started the game well, as they controlled the run of play through the first half hour. But while they were so close throughout the evening, with a second-half free kick by Roy Meeus bouncing off the post and two goals called back amid numerous offside calls on the night, RGVFC played an offside trap to apparent perfection.
And then Catic came off the bench and scored just a couple minutes later, turning in a cross to beat Brandon Miller and take a late lead on the road.
So the Blues threw all they could (well, almost all, as Didier Crettenand did not come off the bench) at this game but could not get the win they needed. The result, a pre-playoff playoff game, is unquestionably disappointing, but there is the hope that the breaks can go their way alongside a positive result next week at home against Colorado Springs Switchbacks in the season finale. Their destiny, however, is no longer in their own hands.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!