Orange County SC made their first trip to Las Vegas, and exited with lady luck on their side, after posting a 5-3 win over Las Vegas Lights FC on Wednesday, in a game where the hosts took the lead, relinquished it, then came back to reclaim the upper hand for good.
Orange County grabbed the lead eight minutes in, as Aodhan Quinn followed up on a save from Vegas goalkeeper Ricardo Ferriño to tap in the goal. The tally gave him double-digits on the season in goals, as he became just the third player in USL history to have a “double-double” season with at least 10 goals and 10 assists.
Las Vegas took more control of the game from there, and OC held them at bay until the 30th minute, when Raul Mendiola took the ball on a breakaway and blasted his shot off the crossbar, saving Orange County’s blushes.
From there, Orange County doubled their lead, just a minute later, as Thomas Enevoldsen scored, taking the ball down with an exquisite first touch before slotting it past Ferriño. It was Enevoldsen’s 18th goal of the season.
But Las Vegas got on the board in the 36th minute, as Juan Carlos “Kabekia” Garcia pulled a goal back for the home side, to make it 2-1. Las Vegas then tied up the game just before halftime, with Miguel Garduño flicking in a nifty shot right in front of goal off Joel Huiqui’s header to keep the ball alive in Orange County’s box.
Sammy Ochoa then completed the comeback for Las Vegas in the 48th minute, heading in Mendiola’s cross to make it 3-2 for Lights FC, and putting Orange County back to square one.
A few minutes later, on a recirculation off a corner kick, Christian Duke unleashed a shot for OC but Ferriño parried it away. But in the 54th minute, Orange County tied it up, as substitute Michael Seaton’s shot was partially blocked by Ferriño but it trickled through, to make it 3-3.
Seaton then scored his second of the night in the 76th minute, taking a pass from Quinn and, wide open, burying it right in front of goal. Enevoldsen then popped up to complete a brace of his own, on essentially the final kick of the game, to seal the win for Orange County at 5-3, as Andre Rawls’ goal kick downfield was flicked on by Seaton to the Dane, who took a collision as he buried the shot.
It was a wild performance, maybe not the best showcase of OCSC’s defensive capabilities, but there just is this feeling with the club that this is a special season. They cough up a two-goal lead and just don’t give up, and it feels like they’re in every single game. Who knows how the playoffs will go, but they should cherish the good times right now, because it’s been a great run so far.
Orange County get 10 days off before their final two games. The next comes on Oct. 6, at home against Seattle Sounders 2. That will be their final home game of the regular season, and it will give Braeden Cloutier’s side another chance to tune up before the playoffs come.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!