Orange County SC’s quest to reach the 2020 USL Championship playoffs has fallen short, after they lost their penultimate regular season game Wednesday, 3-1 against LA Galaxy II.
OCSC needed to win to maximize their chances of getting to the playoffs, as they entered the game two points behind LA, but the loss and Galaxy II’s win means LA are in the playoffs and Orange County are officially out.
Orange County took the lead in the 7th minute through Ugo Okoli, who poked in Darwin Jones’ square pass into the box to put the visitors on the right foot.
But Augustine Williams tied it up for LA in the 10th minute, as he made a trailing run on a counterattack sprung by Jorge Hernandez, who had the assist on the goal.
The rest of the first half ended deadlocked and was very frantic, with the teams trading possession frequently, but quality chances were at a premium as they battled all over the field.
Orange County nearly went down after the hour mark, as Frederik Due was forced to make a save off a Galaxy II free kick service into the box, but he made the stop and the ball trickled just out of reach for LA and they couldn’t capitalize on the bouncing ball.
A few minutes later, Williams drew a penalty off Kevin Alston, as he made an ill-advised tackle in the box with both players going down. Williams scored himself to make it 2-1 in the 68th minute and tighten the vice for OCSC.
There was a late swing in the match, Abraham Romero made a save in the 90th minute to keep it 2-1, then Hernandez scored an insurance goal in the 92nd minute to clinch the game.
It’s certainly a disappointing result, but with Orange County SC slumping at the end of the season, they couldn’t arrest the slide and it caught up with them in the end. It’s tough, because the unique pressures of the season and the tough group did a club with championship aspirations no favors, but they also seemed to have the pieces in place to make a deep run for a title this year, and it just didn’t happen.
Orange County will finish the regular season Saturday with a road clash against Las Vegas Lights FC. That’s right, the season isn’t over just yet, as OCSC will officially close the campaign at the weekend.
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