Las Vegas Lights FC took the lead, but Orange County SC came back in the 2nd half to win 3-1 in the contest between the teams at Cashman Field on Saturday.
The win extends OCSC’s unbeaten run to four games, while it snaps Las Vegas’ own three-game run. The loss is Lights FC’s first of the season at home.
Five LAFC loanees started for Las Vegas on the night:
The 11 Who Will Be Taking The Field First! @FindlayToyota pic.twitter.com/zS8lVwTTEm— Las Vegas Lights FC (@lvlightsfc) June 20, 2021
Meanwhile, Orange County stuck with a pretty familiar group to start this game, Kobi Henry making his season debut:
Starting XI is here #ForCounty | #LVvOC pic.twitter.com/6zyvJVbpMO— Orange County SC (@orangecountysc) June 20, 2021
Danny Musovski scored in the 9th minute for Las Vegas, but there was an offside called in the buildup and so it didn’t count.
Lights FC controlled the game in the opening minutes, with several decent chances, before Orange County found the game and evened things out as the first half proceeded.
Roberto Molina nearly scored on a header from point blank range with a few minutes to play in the 1st half, but Patrick Rakovsky was immense in Orange County’s goal, as he pushed the shot away to keep Vegas off the board.
But Molina found the breakthrough in the 44th minute, receiving a feed on the right side from Musovski, and making no mistake with his shot this time.
.@Robertomolina_5 channeling his inner Golden Knight with the five-hole finish #LVvOC | @lvlightsfc pic.twitter.com/EoywP4utGb— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) June 20, 2021
The teams went into the halftime break with Las Vegas leading 1-0, with the home side bookending the 1st half with control of the game and OCSC getting a better run in the middle.
Braeden Cloutier made two substitutes at halftime, surprisingly bringing in Abraham Romero for Rakovsky in goal, and newly-loaned midfielder Eric Calvillo for Eero Markannen. Meanwhile, Steve Cherundolo brought in Julian Vazquez for Christian Torres at halftime for Lights FC.
The new half was immediately beneficial for Orange County, as Kevin Alston’s long throw-in was partially blocked by Alex Rando in Las Vegas’ goal, before Ronaldo Damus scored in the fourth straight game with a follow-up on the rebound to make it 1-1.
Right place. Right time. Ronaldo strikes again ⚡️ #ForCounty | #LVvOC pic.twitter.com/yOZLIckW6H— Orange County SC (@orangecountysc) June 20, 2021
Damus made it two goals in three minutes when he scored again in the 50th minute, this time heading in Alston’s cross.
We’ll bet on Ronaldo to score every time #ForCounty | #LVvOC pic.twitter.com/MG32l5MRo6— Orange County SC (@orangecountysc) June 20, 2021
Brent Richards replaced Avionne Flanagan for Orange County in the 57th minute. Armando Avila entered for Musovski and Christopher Jaime replaced Mamadou Fall for Lights FC, both in the 62nd minute. Diego Rosales replaced Julian Gaines in the 74th minute for Vegas.
Orange County grabbed an insurance tally in the 74th minute, with Richards’ long throw-in headed in by Robbie Kiernan.
BIG ROB WITH THE BIG HEADER— Orange County SC (@orangecountysc) June 20, 2021
@KiernanRobbie #ForCounty | #LVvOC pic.twitter.com/NRgcjIz4It
Tommy McCabe came in the game in the 83rd game for Chris Wehan, as OCSC sought to see out the win. Nathan Smith entered four minutes later, to replace Michael Orozco. Marvin Gamez was the final sub of the night, for Las Vegas to replace Molino.
I think the difference in the game came down to two things. Orange County had more experience and they found a soft spot in Las Vegas’ defense, something Las Vegas did midweek in their last game themselves, and also Damus is on a tear lately and he just wasn’t neutralized enough on his two best looks. It was a nice win for OCSC on the road, and a setback for Las Vegas, even if they weren’t terrible and were in the game for most of the night.
Orange County will have a short turnaround ahead of their next game, Wednesday against LA Galaxy II, while Las Vegas will have until Friday, when they’ll take on San Diego Loyal. In this Pacific Division, there’s no easy games.
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