Well, the breaks went their way, but the Orange County Blues did exactly what they had to do, beating the Colorado Springs Switchbacks 4-0 on Saturday at Anteater Stadium. As a result of the win, San Antonio FC losing, and Portland Timbers 2 failing to maintain their superior goal difference over the Blues, Orange County have now qualified for the USL Playoffs, moving into the 8th and final postseason slot.
The Blues held the lead for most of the night but despite that the lead was nervy until the final minutes. Didier Crettenand gave the Blues the lead in the 14th minute, with a free kick just outside the box that Switchbacks goalkeeper Devala Gorrick couldn’t get to.
The Blues held a 1-0 lead, with the Switchbacks having several close chances. And with T2 winning their game, the Blues needed to overcome the goal difference issue (they entered the game -1 to Portland), the match was tense despite the lead.
But Trevin Caesar helped turn the tide in Orange County’s favor with a late brace, first scoring in the 87th minute on a wonderful individual effort to make it 2-0, and then grabbing the next in the 90th minute by heading in a cross. At that point, at 3-0, the Blues had the playoff spot, but Orr Barouch scored his first goal for the club in stoppage time to make no mistake and seal up the result for Orange County.
If I understand it correctly, the Blues will face Western Conference regular season champions Sacramento Republic in the first round of the USL playoffs, date and time to be determined. It’s an unlikely turn of events, but the Blues got the job done and are in the running for USL Cup!
What do you think? Leave a comment below!