Orange County SC went down twice, but came back twice, as they played USL Championship expansion team Austin Bold FC to a 2-2 draw on Saturday at Orange County Great Park.
Coming off a brutal 120 minutes of action and a penalty shootout loss in the U.S. Open Cup midweek, OCSC head coach Braeden Cloutier kept with many of the players who featured in the last match, and while they didn’t find a winner they did acquit themselves well, especially on short rest.
Andre Lima thought he opened the scoring for Austin in the 35th minute, with his free kick beating Aaron Cervantes, but a Bold FC player who was standing offside impacted the play and the goal was waved off. But Austin took the lead for real a few minutes later, as Cervantes saved the initial attempt by Calum Mallace, before Jorge Troncoso followed up on the rebound and slammed it in.
But Orange County had the answer, as Darwin Jones had a deft sliced finish off Jerry van Wolfgang’s cross, to make it 1-1. However, Austin immediately scored again off the restart, as Lima got his goal, as the referee ignored OCSC’s cries that Leonardo had been shoved out of the way on the build-up.
After the break, Orange County tied up the game again, in the 52nd minute, as Van Wolfgang set up his second of the night, with a header across the six-yard box off Jones’ cross, and Aodhan Quinn poking it home to make it 2-2.
From there, the teams found no more goals, although Michael Seaton had a close call late, with a header that went wide of the mark.
The result is a mix for OCSC. They fought back twice to get a draw, which is better than a loss, but the bounces don’t seem to be going their way this season. They aren’t playing badly, but they just aren’t getting the goal to take the lead, then another goal and another and so forth, to go with suffocating defense.
That said, even with the draw they’re still keeping pace with the rest of the Western Conference, and while they will remain below the playoff line, they still have plenty of games to get on some run and hopefully fully round into form.
The next game will be a big one, as Orange County will head to Carson to take on LA Galaxy II in the 405 Derby on Saturday. Rivalry games are always an extra treat.
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