Orange County SC lost their second road game in a row, as they fell 2-1 against 10-man Real Monarchs on Friday at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah.
The nearly top-of-the-table clash between the teams was well-matched, with both sides offering good attacking looks, but Juan Mare received a ball over the top in the 91st minute and beat OC goalkeeper Andre Rawls, who made five saves and seemed to have done enough to get a 1-1 draw.
Maikel Chang opened the scoring for the hosts in the sixth minute, as the ball was bundled in off a corner kick.
Towards the middle of the first half, OC got more into the game, and after a couple speculative chances Aodhan Quinn stung the palms of Real Monarchs goalkeeper Connor Sparrow, who had to parry the sharp shot outside of the box over the goal.
Just before halftime, Christian Duke drew a penalty, and Quinn scored his second penalty in as many weeks to tie the game for Orange County.
In the final 10 minutes, Real Monarchs went down to 10 men, as Charlie Adams received his second yellow card of the game. A few minutes later, Sparrow saved Quinn’s free kick and made a quick second save on Giovanni Ramos-Godoy to keep the game level.
Although OC had the man advantage, it was the shorthanded side that took the lead in second-half stoppage time, as Mare’s goal sent the visitors away with no points after it looked like they would tally a draw.
It’s a tough result, as Orange County seemed like they did enough to get a draw, but while they’ve been getting shots off, opponents seem to have tightened up on their forwards in recent games, in particular keeping Thomas Enevoldsen off the scoresheet once again. Braeden Cloutier’s team is not playing badly, but a couple of miscues led to a loss and they’ll have some things to work on in training next week.
Orange County are back in action next Saturday against Saint Louis FC at Orange County Great Park. Saint Louis have started the season pretty well under new head coach Anthony Pulis, so it should be another good test for OC.
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