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Moving On Up: Orange County SC 1, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 0

Hosts score early and lock it down.

Santos Laguna v Chicago Fire
Pineda notched the game’s score for OC.
Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Orange County SC made it seven games unbeaten in USL regular season play on Saturday, defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 1-0 at Orange County Great Park.

Orange County SC opened the scoring 10 minutes in, as a recirculated corner kick was crossed in by Roy Meeus. The initial shot was saved by Whitecaps FC 2 goalkeeper Spencer Richey on the line, and Victor Pineda slammed in the rebound from about two inches. It’s Pineda’s second league goal of the season.

From there, the game turned into a performance reminiscent of Oliver Wyss’ 2015 OC Blues team: Score early and lock it down in the back the rest of the way. Vancouver dominated possession and knocked on the door, but Charlie Lyon bossed his box and did a good job preventing a number of crosses from becoming actual shots.

And given the number of games in the weeks to come, grinding out a win is not a bad performance by any means. Orange County gave Whitecaps FC 2 chances to tie it up, but held firm and grabbed three points.

The victory helped accomplish one task surely in the back of OC’s minds, in bringing them into the playoff slots in the Western Conference. That, and the team still has multiple games in hand on the rest of the conference, so there’s every opportunity for them to move much higher up the standings yet, as long as they continue to pick up results in the final months of the season.

OCSC’s next game is on Wednesday against local rivals LA Galaxy II, up the road in Carson. Galaxy II are in a bad way these days, but are coming off a long bye this weekend, and so could be rejuvenated in the meantime. Hey, it happened for Orange County to kick start this current unbeaten streak, so we’ll have to see if LA will be up for the match. Surely Orange County will be.

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