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Tough ending: Real Monarchs 2, Orange County SC 0

OCSC can’t grab a result on short rest.

Liza Rosales / Liza Rosales Photography

Orange County SC were unable to win a second game in less than a week, falling 2-0 to Real Monarchs at Zions Bank Stadium on Wednesday in Herriman, Utah.

Orange County, fresh off booking their spot in the USL Championship playoffs, had to hold off a Real Monarchs side also looking to clinch their spot. In the end, they couldn’t do it, as two second-half goals led the home side to victory.

The teams exchanged chances in the first half, a near own-goal by Walker Hume saved before Jerry van Wolfgang’s attempt clanged off the post, keeping the game scoreless.

Orange County continued to press the issue in the second half and had several close calls, including an effort from Michael Seaton that passed agonizingly wide. But their luck turned for the worse in the 73rd minute, as a low cross through traffic by Tate Schmitt was turned into the net for an own goal by Aodhan Quinn, who appeared to stumble a bit on the artificial turf as he tried to play the ball.

Real Monarchs then iced the victory to book their postseason ticket in the 83rd minute, as Jack Blake sent a terrific cross-field ball to Maikel Chang, who first eluded OCSC goalkeeper Frederik Due and then hit a sharp, angled shot to make it 2-0.

The result will be a bit bitter for Orange County, who were well in the game throughout but couldn’t get a goal before the game’s breakthrough, and then compounded the tough night by gifting Real Monarchs the winner. Alas, this could be a mere prelude to a future playoff match against this opponent, so an attempt at revenge could be in the offing. In the meantime, the 6th-place OCSC will next take on another potential playoff foe, Sacramento Republic FC, on the road on Saturday night. They’ll get to square off against one of their stars from 2018, Thomas Enevoldsen, so it should be a very interesting night.

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