Orange County SC extended their winning streak to six games, with an incredible winner at the death, to defeat Tulsa Roughnecks FC 1-0 at ONEOK Field on Saturday.
Substitute Kevin Coleman scored his first goal for the club, coming on a counterattack after a series of Tulsa corner kicks late in stoppage time seemed to give the home side the edge to get a possible result, before Braeden Cloutier’s side worked them for the winner.
One of the best chances for Orange County came early, when Darwin Jones got a step on a defender and dribbled into the Tulsa box with a head of steam. His ball bounced off the goalkeeper, however, and back off Jones, and he couldn’t get to it to poke it in before it bounced out of bounds.
Bad news came just after the hour mark, as Christian Duke was subbed out because of an apparent injury. Hopefully it’s not a serious injury, as his return has coincided with Orange County’s upturn in form.
The game lacked clear-cut chances, and Tulsa’s Manny Gonzalez nearly grabbed the go-ahead goal in the 77th minute, but his free kick skimmed the top of the net, sparing OCSC in the process.
Stoppage time elevated a pretty dull game into a thriller. With Tulsa pushing for a winner, they had a series of corner kicks keeping Orange County busy. Goalkeeper Frederick Due punched the ball out, with Michael Seaton setting up Michael Orozco, almost alone on a counterattack. Orozco unselfishly sent a square pass to Coleman, who scored perhaps the easiest game-winner you’ll ever see, at the death in the 94th minute.
As the Tulsa broadcast noted, sometimes teams that are in the habit of winning get the right bounces, and that seemed to be the case in this one. Almost nothing separated the teams, and one expert play, with the other team chasing a win, was all it took. The six-game winning streak take Orange County back up to 4th place in the West, firmly in the second tier of the conference behind leaders Phoenix, Reno and Fresno.
OCSC will have another road game on tap up next, against Rio Grande Valley FC next Saturday. Orange County won the first match between the teams this season, and RGVFC haven’t had a great season, but they had Orange County’s number last season and you never know how it will go in the wild west of the USL Championship.
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