Orange County SC have been looking for a spark to get them wins, and found that in emphatic fashion over the weekend, when they downed LA Galaxy II 5-2 on Saturday in Carson in the 405 Derby.
OCSC conceded in the opening minutes, and Galaxy II led past the half-hour mark, but Orange County came roaring back at Dignity Health Sports Park, scoring five unanswered goals in the win.
After Preston Judd got the quickfire score for LA in the 3rd minute, Orange County had to be patient to pick their spots and finally found the equalizer in the 32nd minute, when Milan Iloski hit a beautiful throughball in the box to Erick “Cubo” Torres, who made no mistake with the shot.
Cubo back home pic.twitter.com/CjNl5bepan— Orange County SC (@orangecountysc) July 24, 2022
OCSC picked up where they left off after the break, with Iloski scoring in the first minute of the 2nd half to give the visitors the lead they would not relinquish.
With love from @milaniloski123 pic.twitter.com/GYmSZKsXmT— Orange County SC (@orangecountysc) July 24, 2022
They didn’t take their foot off the pedal, with Albi Skendi, OCSC’s “target center back” pouncing on an errant rebound from Los Dos GK Eric Lopez in the 48th minute to make it 3-1.
Skendi sneaks one in pic.twitter.com/kepGtoZ4gU— Orange County SC (@orangecountysc) July 24, 2022
Iloski scored his second goal of the night in the 72nd minute, with a wicked dribble to beat the defender before squeezing the shot in at the near post.
MILAN ILOSKI pic.twitter.com/U3Z6nhtRrb— Orange County SC (@orangecountysc) July 24, 2022
Ugo Okoli resumed his super-sub role up top, and he scored the capper in his 100th league appearance, off another feed from Iloski.
.@AskAboutUgo scores on his 100th @USLChampionship appearance! pic.twitter.com/qSGLucphaM— Orange County SC (@orangecountysc) July 24, 2022
LA got a late consolation goal courtesy of Jonathan Perez, but in the end it was all OCSC in the victory.
The win was much-needed, as it lifted Orange County from the Western Conference basement, ahead of expansion side Monterey Bay FC. Eight points out of the final playoff spot, with 13 games left to play, Orange County still have an outside shot of a late surge but they will have to win more often than not to have a hope of defending their USL Championship title this year by getting a playoff berth.
On the bright side, Iloski had another stellar game, with two goals and two assists. That puts him one goal off the Golden Boot race at present and Torres sits just outside the Top 10 with nine goals so far. Plus, Iloski’s older brother Brian, who’s been hurt all season, came off the bench in this game and perhaps the brothers can make some magic down the stretch.
If this is the start of the turning point of the season for Richard Chaplow’s squad, it will be a welcome sight, but time will tell. For now, it sure seems like a win to build on.
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