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Penalized: Sacramento Republic 1, Orange County SC 0

Strong defensive effort by OC fails to land points.

Rawls was busy for Orange County in Sacramento.
Liza Rosales/Liza Rosales Photography

Orange County SC conceded a penalty on Saturday against Sacramento Republic FC, and it was costly, as the NorCal side won their second consecutive 1-0 result this season over OC.

Cameron Iwasa looked to have put Republic FC ahead in the first half, but the goal was chalked off for an apparent handball call. Later in the half, Orange County had a shot clang off the post.

Andre Rawls made a point-blank save in the 49th minute on Jure Matjasic to keep the game scoreless.

OC had a great chance on the counterattack in the 54th minute. Thomas Enevoldsen set a wonderful pass ahead to Nansel Selbol, and his shot was deflected wide for a goal.

Sacramento earned a penalty in the 58th minute, when Villyan Bijev earned a spot kick from Kontor Owusu-Ansah. Jeremy Hall stepped up and put the home side ahead.

Both sides had decent chances from there, but Rawls remained stout and Walker Hume had a couple big stops on the backline for OC, and Enevoldsen’s strikes weren’t quite sharp enough to get by former OC Blues goalkeeper Josh Cohen.

Joe Amico picked up a second yellow card in the 93rd minute, holding a boot up to catch Jaime Villarreal’s foot on the follow-through, so the Orange County fullback will be suspended for the next match.

Truthfully, Sacramento always looked dangerous but OC defended very well and really deserved a point for their effort. They could have been more incisive in attack but their defense was truly top-notch, and it was only a penalty that made the difference. In that respect, a loss is rather harsh.

Orange County have a big game coming up next weekend, as they’ll resume the 405 Derby against LA Galaxy II in Carson next Sunday. In addition to being a rivalry game, it will be tricky for OCSC, as Galaxy II have improved considerably since the last time these teams played, when Orange County notched a good if rather fortunate victory.

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