Orange County SC extended their winning streak to five games, after defeating USL Championship expansion team El Paso Locomotive FC 2-0 on Saturday at Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine.
Leading scorers Michael Seaton and Darwin Jones maintained their strong form with goals on the night for the home side.
El Paso took the lead in the 23rd minute, but Omar Salgado, who scored, was flagged offside and the goal came off the board. Then the same happened for Orange County in the 29th minute, with a flicked header from Jones chalked off because of an apparent offside.
But OCSC found the breakthrough in the 36th minute, with Seaton heading in Harry Forrester’s long free kick with an unorthodox finish to give the home side the lead.
Just before the hour mark, Salgado nearly equalized for El Paso, but his shot bounced wide of the mark, before Jones took a ball down over the top and extended Orange County’s lead.
Giovanni Ramos Godoy nearly scored in second-half stoppage time, but El Paso goalkeeper Logan Ketterer made a key stop shortly before the final whistle.
Needless to say, Orange County looked good and maintained their best form of the season in the win. Every week, they’re looking more and more like the team that was nigh on unstoppable in 2018, and the team’s rhythm at this stage is palpable.
Believe it or not, this game was a six-pointer for the teams, who entered only three points apart in the Western Conference standings, but Orange County emerged with flying colors and have made it up to 4th place, their best showing of the season so far. They still haven’t officially booked their ticket to the playoffs, with six games left to play, but they’re getting closer and closer with each win.
Orange County will be back on the road next week, as they do the tricky Oklahoma swing with a meeting against Tulsa Roughnecks next Saturday. Tulsa beat OCSC 5-3 in Irvine in a shootout in the season’s opening weeks, but their season hasn’t gone well since, and they’re now 10 points under the playoff line.
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