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They will do it: Orange County SC 2, New Mexico United 2

Jones, Leonardo spearhead second-half rally for hosts.

Darwin Jones got the first goal in the comeback effort.
Courtesy of Orange County SC

Orange County SC are still looking for their first win of the 2019 USL Championship season, but for the second time in three games they fought back from a two-goal deficit to draw their opponent 2-2, this time against New Mexico United at Championship Soccer Stadium on Saturday night.

Like their season opener two weeks ago, OC left it late but got the result, as new defender Leonardo completed the comeback with a goal in stoppage time to get a share of the points.

OCSC looked like they had an uphill climb coming in, as stalwarts Aodhan Quinn and Michael Seaton were out for the night, and Braeden Cloutier opted to give 17-year-old goalkeeper Aaron Cervantes his professional debut after a shaky outing last week from Carlos Lopez Cortez. To his credit, Cervantes played pretty well and was not the responsible party on the goals conceded.

It didn’t start so well, though. The visitors drew first blood in the 14th minute as red-hot scorer Santi Moar headed in Manny Padilla’s early cross to put New Mexico ahead.

New Mexico doubled their lead in the 33rd minute as Kevaughn Frater picked off a poor backpass by Kevin Alston to debutant Aaron Cervantes in goal, and the forward easily bypassed the goalkeeper.

Orange County got back into the game just before the hour mark, as Darwin Jones scored off a header put across the goalmouth by Charlie Adams, to cut the home side’s deficit to one.

And Orange County found the equalizer in second-half stoppage time, as Leonardo hit a bullet header to tie it up. While OCSC struggled in the first half, they played their way into the game and were the stronger side in the second half, and were good value for the draw.

Cloutier’s side will take to the road for their next game, next Saturday against another expansion team in El Paso Locomotive, as they look to build on this draw and pick up a first win of 2019.

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