It has to be said, through two games this season, Saint Louis FC match up well to Orange County SC, as the teams played to a 2-2 draw on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium.
The teams, which played to a 1-1 draw earlier this year at Orange County’s stadium, may not be especially close in the standings, but Saint Louis are the only team to have gotten a result when Orange County scored first this season, something they’ve done twice now (OC are 10-0-2 when they score first in league play, for the record).
In the 10th minute, Orange County defender Kevin Alston made a key intervention, as he blocked a cross that was destined for the back post, sending the chance for Saint Louis out of play.
OC picked up the game’s opening goal at the half-hour mark, as Kontor Owusu-Ansah’s long throw-in was flicked in on a nifty header by Mats Bjurman at the near post. Orange County’s set-piece prowess proved effective with a new play.
But while Orange County looked mostly content to sit deep and try to lock down their lead, Saint Louis substitute Kyle Greig tied up the match in the 70th minute.
OC then took another lead as the final minutes really opened up, courtesy of substitute Giovanni Ramos-Godoy, in the 76th minute.
But Orange County were pegged back again, as Saint Louis players crashed the box and Pierre Da Silva notched an equalizer in the 79th minute after Luis Lopez couldn’t control the save he made a moment earlier.
In isolation, the performance from OCSC may be seen as a bit shaggy, tight at defense for 69 minutes before really opening things up and getting into a shootout late. But with this being the second game of the week, both on the road, getting four points on the trip is nothing to sniff at.
Orange County will get 10 days off before their next game, as they host a resurgent Portland Timbers 2 squad for the first meeting of the season on Aug. 1. Right now, they’re in 3rd place in the Western Conference, definitely a good spot, but with the time off they’ll probably have some work to do to keep pace for the battle atop the West.
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