Orange County SC lost their third game in a row, putting their once-solid USL Championship playoff hopes in doubt, as they lost 2-0 to San Diego Loyal at Torero Stadium Sunday night.
A brace from an unlikely source, on-loan LAFC midfielder Alejandro Guido, powered San Diego in the win and gave them the vital 2nd place standing in Group B, with Orange County slumping to 4th place following the defeat.
Braeden Cloutier picked a strong XI to begin the game for OCSC.
In the 29th minute, Orange County drew a penalty, with San Diego goalkeeper Jon Kempin colliding with Ugo Okoli. It looked like the collision was a 50-50 challenge for the ball, but it was very dangerous between the players, and the referee changed their mind and rescinded the penalty. Aside from the violence of the condition, it probably was the right call, although it was a bit of a tough break for OCSC.
Big moment here, @orangecountysc initially given a penalty kick but after consult with the AR the decision is reversed and @SanDiegoLoyal gets a free kick to resume play. #SDvOC ➡️ https://t.co/s3FY0PKuKx pic.twitter.com/Ci0rMWOJ7t— Nicholas Murray (@NJEMurray) September 14, 2020
San Diego found a break through just before halftime. Guido opened the scoring with a quick dribble and shot from the edge of the box in the 41st minute to make it 1-0 to the home side.
The teams went into the locker room with San Diego leading 1-0.
Orange County had a goal-line save in the 56th minute, when Miguel Berry’s shot beat Frederik Due, but Robbie Kiernan was on the spot to clear the slow-roller to keep it a one-goal game.
San Diego doubled their lead, once again through Guido, in the 65th minute, as he hit a deft chip over traffic from the edge of the box after Due punched the ball out.
OCSC didn’t play terribly, but they just weren’t as sharp as they had been during their long unbeaten start to the season. I think San Diego’s reinforcements of late, the likes of Guido and others, have boosted their squad, and they are contenders again. Is Orange County missing the veteran guile and skills of Thomas Enevoldsen? Was the defense the real culprit in this one? Was it just an off night? It’s frustrating because all three losses have been pretty narrow, but this is definitely a big concern at this point for OCSC.
Orange County are scheduled to return to action Friday when they host Las Vegas Lights FC. With the recent losing streak, this game is massive for OCSC, and they need a win if they want to stay in the running for a playoff spot. Big game, should be an interesting one.
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