IRVINE, Calif. - On a drizzly Wednesday night in Irvine, Orange County SC opened up their US Open Cup run against local NPSL side Orange County FC, the first ever meeting between the two sides. OCSC put out a strong side, not rotating much from their league match against San Antonio FC, but did offer U17 international Aaron Cervantes another chance start in goal.
The first 10 minutes were quiet, with both teams settling into the match. An early own goal from Joshua Davis broke the deadlock in the thirteenth minute, with OCSC benefiting and looking more comfortable afterwards.
OCFC focused on pressing the USL side, largely content to play out of possession. This continued throughout the half, only ever creating chances off of breakaways. OCFC’s first goal of the match came after an Aodhan Quinn header off a corner kick was intercepted, giving an OCFC and advantage on the break. OCSC keeper Aaron Cervantes was able to make the initial save, but his defense let him down on the rebound, allowing Dakota Collins the opportunity to put the ball in the back of the net.
Still, OCSC dominated play, though attacks were limited by FC goalkeeper David Preys, who repeatedly make save after save for his team, keeping them in the match. Little changed for the clubs, with FC countering and SC attempting to unlock the opposition. The teams were level going into the break.
Much of the second half was the same, with OCFC playing for extra time and playing in their own half. Barring a few breaks, it was quiet through the three-quarter mark of the match. OCSC had multiple chances in the final 20 minutes of regulation, including a goal that was waved off by the referee who had determined Darwin Jones to be off-side. OCSC finally unlocked the FC defense in the 87th minute, with Jones chipping Preys and scoring what looked to be the match winner.
But extra time was on the cards, and in the first minute of that extra time, OCFC’s Rayan Holland scored and equalizer off a corner, sending the match into extra time.
At the start of extra time, tempers flared on a set piece, and Darwin Jones was shown a yellow card. OCSC continued to look dangerous but could not put one past the FC defense, who occasionally had multiple defenders to clear balls off of the goal line.
In the last seconds of extra time, yet another OCSC corner was cleared off the goal line, and the teams went to penalties.
OCFC was perfect in the penalty shootout, confusing SC’s young goalkeeper with each attempt. For Orange County, it was Aodhan Quinn that was denied a goal in the shootout, as FC’s Preys guessed correctly. Quinn, who is considered one of the best penalty takers in the USL Championship, had the only miss, and as a result, Orange County SC lost the match, and were eliminated from the US Open Cup.
After the match OCSC midfielder Danny Crisostomo, who has played for both teams, shared his frustration with the outcome. “Going out hurts, but we just have to learn from this experience and move on right away for the game.” Orange County SC have their opportunity to move on right away as they return to USL Championship competition and host Austin Bold FC on Saturday evening.
13’: Joshua Davis (OG)
27’: Dakota Collins
87’: Darwin Jones (Harry Forrester)
90+2’: Rayan Holland (Aaron Lombardi)
43’: Daniel Crisostomo
84’: Oscar Flores
90’: Joshua Davis
103’: Darwin Jones
105’: Aodhan Quinn
118’: Hugo Arellano