DESPITE IMPROVED PERFORMANCE, OC FALLS TO EXPANSION SIDE
EL PASO, Texas - (March 30, 2019) El Paso dominated possession early in the game, and through the first quarter of an hour Orange County successfully defended five separate corner kicks. Set-piece organization was much improved, with the defense preventing any dangerous opportunities for the hosts to strike early.
Newly signed goalkeeper Patrick McLain looked very good in his first start, making several key saves, including multiple one-on-one opportunities during which he forced shots wide. He also made several other key saves to keep the game close in the second half.
Darwin Jones provided Orange County’s best goal scoring chance in the 34th minute, as a missed clearance from El Paso was corralled by Jones before he fired off his shot. However, his shot bounced off the far post and the score remained level at 0-0. Owusu-Ansah Kontor also proved an offensive threat, providing several throw-ins deep into the El Paso box, one of which fell dangerously in front of El Paso’s netminder Logan Ketterer, who was then able to gather before an OC player could strike the ball home.
McLain continued to come up big for the OC defense in the second half, making another excellent one-on-one save following a dangerous El Paso pass. However, the deadlock was broken in the 64th minute. McLain did well to parry Omar Salgado’s initial shot, but the ball fell perfectly to El Paso’s Edson Partida at the far post, who slotted it home to put Locomotive ahead 1-0.
McLain came up big again in the 79th minute after a flick-on ball was sent to his right. He was able to jump on it and keep Orange County in the game. But in the 88th minute, El Paso midfielder Contreras found Partido open in on goal, and the winger’s strong shot found the back of the net.
Despite the result, Orange County looked a much improved side. Despite a rotated back line in front of him, Patrick McLean looked like the key addition to the team, keeping Orange County in the game on multiple occasions in both halves. Liam Trotter showed his ability and his versatility, featuring at the heart of the Orange County midfield and defense. Michael Seaton also returned, coming on for Jerry van Wolfgang in the second half.
Orange County returns home on April 6th to face the Colorado Springs Switchbacks at Championship Soccer Stadium at the Orange County Great Park.
64’: Edson Partida
88’: Edson Partida (Sebastián Contreras)
45’+1’ James Kiffe (El Paso) Yellow card.
79’ Owusu-Anash Kontor (Orange County) Yellow card.
89’ Darwin Jones (Orange County) Yellow card.
89’ Andrew Fox (El Paso) Yellow card.
90’+5’ Leonardo (Orange County) Yellow card.
This is El Paso’s first win in franchise history.
Orange County’s Joe Amico won eight (8) duels while only losing one (1).
OCSC’s Liam Trotter finished with a 87.5% passing accuracy on 40 passes.