Orange County SC played up a man for a full half, but the damage had already been done in their 405 Derby match against LA Galaxy II, as OC lost 3-0 on Saturday at Orange County Great Park.
Orange County were coming off an impressive win on the road midweek, but Galaxy II had the plan and execution to take a win in the season series, after OC won the first two games between the teams this season.
LA started the scoring early. Despite Efrain Alvarez, their 15-year-old rising star, not being available for this game, Galaxy II took the lead in the 3rd minute, as Ethan Zubak hit a blast by OC goalkeeper Casey Beyers, making his second straight start in relief of an apparently injured Andre Rawls. Truth be told, it was the kind of shot that wasn’t Beyers’ fault, as OC’s defense just started a little sleepy.
The game was chippy, with Alex Crognale appearing to kick an opponent off the ball and escaped serious sanction, followed by Galaxy II defender Geoffrey Acheampong picking up two yellow cards in the first half, as he received his marching orders in first-half stoppage time.
By that point, Galaxy II were up 2-0, after Frank Lopez scored his team’s second goal midway through the first half. But with Orange County up a man for the second half despite being down two goals, it seemed they might get back into it.
It wasn’t to be, however, as OC could never find a foothold in the game, and a first goal never came. Orange County captain Christian Duke was forced out of the game in the first half due to an apparent head injury, and the midfielder’s steady play was missed in the middle.
The game was effectively sealed for Galaxy II in the 52nd minute, as Jonathan Hernandez scored the third goal of the game off a free kick from Julian Buescher.
All in all, it wasn’t Orange County’s night, as they dominated most statistical categories aside from the most important one, goals. The defense was flat-footed a few times and the attack struggled to shoot on target but away from LA goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre.
Orange County will get a week to regroup before their next game, at home next Saturday against San Antonio FC, who they beat on the road earlier this season.
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