Orange County SC faced a game filled with adversity for a second straight week, and for the second time in a row, they came out with a result, as they tied Las Vegas Lights FC 1-1 on Saturday night at Cashman Field in Las Vegas.
OCSC played down a man for an entire half, after going down a goal, but they battled back with an equalizer to get the road point.
Off the top, the camera work on the game was at times beyond rough, making it near impossible to watch, but as the game settled down and the sun went down, watching on the ESPN+ stream became feasible. The opening parts of the game were back and forth, and a player with Orange County history struck first, as Irvin Parra took a feed from the left flank, dribbled upfield with the ball and hit it past Patrick McLain at the near post to make it 1-0 for Las Vegas in the 39th minute.
It got worse as Orange County SC defender Joe Amico was sent off in first-half stoppage time for a foul away from the ball, after Parra pushed him, Amico pushed him back and Parra fell down. All things considered, it looked rather harsh.
But Braeden Cloutier’s side didn’t give up, and OC found the equalizer in the 70th minute through Leonardo, who headed on a flick-on from a throw-in. Orange County tend to score a goal or two a season this way, and the timing couldn’t have been better under the circumstances.
Two minutes later Las Vegas appeared to tie up the game, but after consultation, the goal was chalked off for offside, handing OCSC a lifeline.
McLain made up for his earlier concession in second-half stoppage time, as a poor clearance attempt was goalbound, but he smothered the dangerous ball. At the other end, Liam Trotter had a fantastic look at a game-winner on a counterattack, but his shot sailed over the bar.
All in all, it was a good performance from Orange County. Missing both of their leading scorers in this match, Darwin Jones and Aodhan Quinn, due to red cards last week, and facing a team unbeaten at home, this was a tough test. They didn’t get a win, but they dug deep, even after going down a man again this week, and grinded for a point. That’s impressive, and some of the questions about this team’s cohesion this year may be getting answered right in front of our eyes.
Orange County have a week off before their next clash, in the desert next Saturday against Phoenix Rising FC. The old rivalry comes around again! Should be an interesting one.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!