Orange County SC were stifled for most of the night, but they took advantage of their best opportunity, as they defeated LA Galaxy II 1-0 on Sunday night at StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium.
It was the second win by OC in the 405 Derby in two meetings this season, and means they take the season series even with one game left to play between the teams later this season.
The game was, as expected, tight and defensive in nature. On the bright side, even with it being a local rivalry game, tempers did not boil over like last time (although that time the benefit went to Orange County as LA picked up a red card).
Jos Hooiveld made his debut for Orange County, starting and putting in a solid 90 minutes, and Kevin Alston also made his debut, coming off the bench late to help ice the result.
In the 70th minute, it looked like OC would get the opener, as Thomas Enevoldsen sent a square pass to Giovanni Ramos-Godoy in the box, but his shot went wide of the net. Considering Orange County hadn’t registered even a shot on goal to that point, that was a huge miss.
But Enevoldsen ensured it would not be a fruitless night, as he buried the winner in the 82nd minute to put OC ahead off a missed clearance on a corner kick. It was Orange County’s only shot on goal all night.
Andre Rawls was then pressed into action, as he was forced to save a low, sharp Miguel Aguilar shot, and while he bobbled the save a bit, he recovered and held onto the ball to snuff out the chance. Galaxy II pushed late for an equalizer, but Orange County held on for three points.
The win is always good, and it helps that it came against the local rival, even if OC weren’t exactly peppering LA’s goal on the night. But sometimes you need some veteran guile, and OC had the huge edge in that department, and that ended up making the difference.
Orange County move up to 5th place in the Western Conference, and are only three points out of second place at the moment. They’ve got a big game up next, their first meeting of the season against Reno 1868 FC on Saturday at Orange County Great Park. Should be a good test for Braeden Cloutier’s side after a gritty win over Galaxy II in this one.
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