Orange County SC got a result on Wednesday, but it wasn’t the one they were looking for, as they drew 0-0 against Phoenix Rising FC in Arizona. The defense stymied Phoenix’s attack all night, but OC could never get their own offense off and running.
The first half was cagey, with neither team hitting any shots on goal inside the box, instead mostly opting to hit long-distance shots that all went wide. Near the end of the first half, Irvin Parra had a nice dribble into the box with several defenders around him, but when he tried to get off a shot on his left foot, the defenders never gave him the space to take it and the chance was snuffed out.
Rather than see one team take the reins after the restart, both teams continued to spin their wheels overall, finding moments of possibility but nothing definitive. And while Phoenix outshot Orange County by a 3-to-1 margin, the game lacked thrills in either goal.
In the 89th minute, OC were gifted twice as Charlie Lyon got a save on a shot, followed by two rebounded shots that bounced off each post. Frankly, Phoenix ought to have scored there but somehow it didn’t happen.
Two players did make their debuts in the match as new loanees Rodrigo Pacheco and Walker Hume started for Orange County. Getting a clean sheet is always a bonus for defenders, and Hume had a promising start. Pacheco, nominally a forward, drifted back most of the night and seemed to want to pick up the ball in Zone 14 and spray passes to his teammates. It will likely take a bit more time for chemistry to fully develop in the attack.
So the result is ok in that it wasn’t a loss, but the draw makes it nine straight without a win for OC, and the playoffs are drifting further from reach. They are far from out of it, with eight games to go, but each game they don’t win leaves them with more ground to make up and less time to do it. And while the defense put in a good shift in a road game, the attack is in a major slump and that is costing them wins right now.
Orange County SC have only a few days off before their next game, at home on Saturday against Swope Park Rangers.
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