Orange County SC recovered from their loss earlier in the week but couldn’t find a winner Saturday, as they battled San Diego Loyal to a 0-0 draw at Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine.
Orange County maintain their 2nd-place standing in Group B with the result, but they weren’t able to make as much ground as they hoped on group leaders Phoenix Rising, who lost elsewhere Saturday, with OCSC maintaining two games in hand at the moment.
One unusual occurrence in the game came starting in the 8th minute, as the teams went to the center circle together and stood silently for 1:46 to protest racism.
As far as the play on the field, OCSC had two good looks at the end of the first half, with Ugo Okoli’s header going wide, before a blast from Aodhan Quinn sailed over the goal. Darwin Jones had a sharp shot that clanged off the corner of the post a few minutes into the second half.
Both teams had their chances but they were wayward with their shots, neither side posting a shot on goal past the hour mark of the game. Brian Iloski posted the first of the game in the 64th minute for Orange County, but San Diego goalkeeper Jon Kempin stopped it with ease.
New San Diego player Miguel Berry had a breakaway in the 67th minute, but Frederik Due in OCSC’s goal was able to snuff out the chance before the big man could get a good shot off.
San Diego made an appeal on the final kick of the game that Orange County handled the ball on a cross coming in, but the referee waived the appeal off, something that made OCSC happy but San Diego very much unhappy as the whistle was blown for the game immediately after.
I think OCSC will be happy they didn’t lose again, certainly, but I think they are also probably pretty miffed they didn’t score in this game. They had way more shots on the night, but were wayward with their finishing in this one. At the same time, they held firm in the back as San Diego are in desperation time in their season, with their chances of catching up and surpassing OCSC running out.
Orange County’s next scheduled game is Wednesday at home against LA Galaxy II. OCSC got the best of their backyard rival last time they met, but Los Dos are a slippery team and are still trying their best to stay in the Group B playoff reckoning. Should be another good game.
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