Orange County SC faced Rio Grande Valley FC for the second time in four days on Saturday, and came away winners, by a 4-0 margin at Orange County Great Park.
All told, OC picked up four points this week against RGVFC, and are now six games unbeaten in USL regular season play, moving to within a point of the final playoff place. For now, they’re picking up points on some of those games they had in hand, and vaulting them up the Western Conference standings.
Jeannot Esua opened the scoring in the 8th minute, latching onto the end of Richard Chaplow’s low cross through the six-yard box and hitting a one-timer. It is his first goal in USL.
Jerry van Ewijk, back from a three-game suspension, appeared to score in the 18th minute, but was judged to be offside, so the goal was waived off.
OC earned a penalty in the 27th minute, as RGVFC’s Ivan Magalhaes was called for a handball in the box, and Roy Meeus scored the spot kick to make it 2-0 for the hosts.
Following the break, RGVFC played quite well and looked several times like they would peg Orange County back and score a goal or two. But OC held firm, and Wuilito Fernandes continued his rich vein of form, scoring a header in the 82nd minute off Dusan Stevanovic’s cross to ice the result for the home side.
Zach Kobayashi came off the bench and scored his first goal in the league in the 86th minute to bring the scoreline to 4-0 and pad the team’s goal difference.
All in all, it was a good performance for OC, even if the scoreline flattered them a little bit. No matter, they’ve got another home game in a week’s time, against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2, in the first meeting between the teams this season. If they can get another win? The playoffs may start to really come in focus for Orange County SC.
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