With the late-afternoon sun in their eyes, Orange County SC kicked off their second consecutive road match: this week against Austin Bold. OC native Aaron Cervantes got the nod in goal, making his sixth appearance of the year.
The Bold got an early start to the game, testing Orange County repeatedly through the opening minutes of the match before scoring off of a corner kick in the 10th minute. It was an awkward play, with a deflection bouncing off Leonardo’s right leg perfectly for Andre Lima to strike home for the hosts.
OC had chances of their own, with Michael Seaton being denied by Jermaine Taylor in a last-ditch tackle before Diego Restrepo nullified the ensuing chance off of a corner kick. In the 17th minute, Darwin Jones delivered a trademark low cross which was deflected just enough by Taylor to again deny his countryman a clear chance on goal.
Just four minutes later, Austin doubled their lead, again off of a corner kick. A weak clearance was picked up at the top of the box by Sean McFarlane, who fired through the OC defense and saw his shot bounce in at the far post.
In the 27th minute, Edson Alvarado found himself unmarked at the back post of the Austin goal. The Whittier native couldn’t miss, and he easily scored his first goal for the Orange and Black, knocking down a free header without challenge from any defenders or Austin goalkeeper Diego Restrepo.
Darwin Jones created another dangerous chance in the 30th minute, making a long run on the right wing and cutting into the box. Michael Seaton and Jerry van Wolfgang joined the winger in the box, but Jones opted to shoot and put the ball into the side netting at the near post.
The match then stopped for a water break, and the rest of the half was mostly quiet until added time. In the 47th minute, Michael Seaton dispossessed Diego Restrepo, giving fellow attacker van Wolfgang a chance on goal. The Dutchman did not have a shot and opted to pass to Seaton, who was flagged offside.
The second half kicked off just after sunset, and Orange County had the first chance under the floodlights. Following a cleared set piece opportunity, the visitors quickly played the ball back towards the Austin goal. van Wolfgang had a good chance at goal from the top of the box, put bobbling shot was easily met at the far post by Restrepo.
It was mostly the fullbacks, Joe Amico and Kontor Owusu-Ansah, who saw action heading into the hour mark. Both men did well to get forward and stretch the Austin defense high up the pitch while also cutting off long balls to the Austin wingbacks.
In the 64th minute, van Wolfgang made way for Harry Forrester, who made his first appearance in three matches. Kevin Coleman joined the Englishman on the pitch, coming on for the goalscorer Alvarado.
Aaron Cervantes made a massive one on one save against Kris Tyrpak in the 66th minute, keeping OC in the game. He rolled the ball out quickly, and within the minute, Kevin Coleman notched yet another assist for the side after firing a low cross to Michael Seaton, who coolly redirected the ball past an out-of-position Restrepo and into the back of the net.
Harry Forrester won a free kick for OCSC in the 75th minute, but the ensuing shot was blocked by the wall. The substitute then picked up a yellow card while stopping the host’s quick counterattack.
Following the break for water in the second half, Orange County had to weather repeated attacks from the Bold. Cervantes again made two crucial saves to keep the game level just after the 80th minute. Looking for the win, Cloutier opted to bring on Giovani Ramos-Godoy as the final substitute, coming on for Darwin Jones.
With five minutes of added time, Orange County conceded a free kick just outside of the box. The initial shot was deflected out for a corner, which was cleared away by Seaton, volleyed by Baez, and following a deflection: saved yet again by the youth international.
But it was not to be: the Bold were able to capitalize on a chaotic Orange County box late in extra time. It was Kris Tyrpak, unmarked by Leonardo, who finally bested Cervantes, winning the match for the hosts.
Orange County SC next plays against another Copa Tejas side, San Antonio, at home on July 20. The match kicks off at 7pm at Championship Soccer Stadium at the Orange County Great Park.
10’: Andre Lima
21’: Sean McFarlane
27’: Edson Alvarado (Joe Amico)
67’: Michael Seaton (Kevin Coleman)
93’: Kris Tyrpak (Jermaine Taylor)
22’: Sean McFarlane (Yellow)
55’: Josue Soto (Yellow)
73’: Xavier Baez (Yellow)
77’: Harry Forrester (Yellow)
89’: Aaron Cervantes (Yellow)