The battle of Orange County was a doozy on Wednesday, as NPSL side Orange County FC upset USL Championship side Orange County SC with a penalty shootout victory, 5-3, after a 2-2 draw through 120 minutes, in the second round of the 2019 U.S. Open Cup at Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine.
The two teams with almost identical monikers play in the same venue, but this was their first meeting together. With it being OCFC’s second Open Cup tournament and OCSC historically only making intermittent runs in the tournament, there was little history to draw upon between the teams. In the end, the underdogs, led by former U.S. international Paul Caligiuri, emerged the winners.
Orange County SC took the lead in the 13th minute, with a ball into the box aimed at Aodhan Quinn throwing off Orange County FC defender Joshua Davis as he headed the ball into his own net.
But Orange County FC tied it up on a counter off an OCSC corner kick, with the initial shot parried by Orange County SC goalkeeper Aaron Cervantes, but the rebound was turned in by Dakota Collins in the 27th minute.
From there, Orange County FC had a good run of play, interrupted by Jerry van Wolfgang’s blast from distance just before halftime that was blocked by OCFC goalkeeper David Preys to keep it 1-1.
Both teams had chances in the second half, with Orange County SC with two great chances shortly after the hour mark, but nothing doing on those. As the minutes ticked by, the pressure ratcheted up. Van Wolfgang’s deflected shot curled just over the goal in the 72nd minute. Moments later Orange County SC took the lead but the goal was waved off due to an apparent offside. A few minutes later, another great chance for OCSC, with OCFC clearing the shot off the line to keep it deadlocked.
Orange County SC got the breakthrough in the 87th minute, as Darwin Jones receiving the ball from Harry Forrester and chipping that right over Preys to take the late lead.
But that wasn’t the final word, as Rayan Holland scored the equalizer for Orange County FC in the 92nd minute off a corner kick to take the game to extra time.
Both sides had chances in extra time, but once again, Orange County SC dominated but could not punch the ball in. Orange County FC made several last-ditch stops to keep the game tied.
With an extra 30 minutes in the books, the teams then went to a penalty shootout to decide the match.
After Eder Arriola opened the shootout for OCFC, Aodhan Quinn’s attempt was saved by Preys, putting Orange County SC behind from the top. Harry Forrester then scored for Orange County SC, to make it 2-1 after two rounds, and Giovanni Ramos-Godoy’s shot just slotted through Prays’ hand to go in the net to make it 3-2 after three rounds. Then Liam Trotter made it to make it 4-3, but Cody Shelton scored the clincher for Orange County FC to win it 5-3.
Orange County FC advance to the third round of the 2019 Open Cup, and they’ll face more USL Championship opposition in Las Vegas Lights FC on May 29 at Cashman Field in Las Vegas, for the right to advance and possibly MLS opposition in the following round.
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