For the second time in as many games, Orange County SC beat a nine-man team, this time LA Galaxy II, by a 3-0 scoreline, at Orange County Great Park in the first edition of the 405 Derby this season. The win extends OC’s winning streak to three, and the victory was their first at home in this young season.
Orange County got a boost 30 minutes in, as Galaxy II’s Jean Engola was sent off for denial of an obvious goalscoring opportunity, as he brought down Michael Seaton in a last-gasp effort to stop a shot.
A few minutes later, some nifty build-up between Koji Hashimoto and Aodhan Quinn looked like it would lead to a sure goal, but Seaton’s header off Quinn’s sharp cross sailed well over the goal.
But Mark Segbers put OC ahead just before halftime, as the winger took a pass on a breakaway from Seaton and scored his first professional goal past Galaxy II goalkeeper Eric Lopez. Segbers didn’t even start the game, coming off the bench in the 23rd minute for an injured Richard Chaplow.
Just after the break, LA nearly tied up the game as OC’s play out of the back was sloppy and turned over to the visitors, but Andre Rawls wasn’t punished for his slow pass to Alex Crognale after he made a save and then Crognale blocked the follow-up on the goal line to keep it 1-0.
Los Dos went down to nine men in the 54th minute, as Alex Mendez was late on a challenge and clattered Christian Duke with a two-footed lunge, getting a straight red card and giving OC more of an advantage on the night.
Segbers then added his second goal of the night in the 58th minute, receiving a feed in the box from the left, taking a touch to get to the inside of the defender, and stroking it home.
Nansel Selbol, coming off the bench to make his debut for Orange County, scored in the dying minutes, as some tricky footwork and an outstanding finish capped off the game for the home side. But moments later he appeared to become hurt or ill, as medics rushed out to attend to him. He was eventually placed in a neck brace, gently put on a stretcher and gurney, and wheeled away, putting a somber (and frightening) cap on an otherwise joyful evening for Orange County.
Clearly, Orange County have been fortunate in that they’ve had opponents picking up two red cards in a game two games in a row. But both of the calls on this night were legit, and it’s better to see dangerous or illegal plays get sanctioned than not. I don’t know that Galaxy II would have won if they had managed to keep 11 players on the field, but they were threatening in the first half and really held the better of play overall until the second red card sunk their chances. Still, I think the experience advantage for OC probably would have won out over 90 minutes, and as it happened, a DOGSO challenge and two-footed lunge prevented us from seeing it on the night.
Orange County are next in action in a week’s time, hitting the road to face San Antonio FC in Texas next Saturday.
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