San Diego Loyal SC defeat Orange County SC 2-1

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Credit: Cali Camera/ EVT Sports

San Diego collects a crucial three points ahead of an important away match

Fresh off of a 5-0 victory over Indy XI, the Loyal remained in San Diego and put on another show in front of The Locals. This match went down to the wire, as both teams desperately wanted those three points.

The Loyal improves to (9-4-4) with 31 points which is good for third place in the Western Conference. OC falls to (4-8-5) with 17 points on the season.

First Half

Manager Landon Donovan issued a 4-2-3-1 formation per usual. Keeper Koke Vegas started in goal as goal-scoring threat Kyle Vassell started as the lone forward.

The first 20 minutes of this match showed a lot of aggression from the Loyal. SD attempted five shots with three on target with an early goal in mind. Nothing was stopping the Loyal from getting that early advantage.

And what do you know? The Loyal finally connected. Alejandro Guido finished a rebound goal off the deflection from the OC Keeper Colin Shutler.

Less than two minutes later, OC scored the equalizer. Milan Iloski scored off of a brilliant header that left Vegas at a halt. That was quite the response from OC as they Loyal were still in celebration mode.

Credit: Cali Camera/ EVT Sports

This match was in for a shootout.

Right around the 35th minute, the energy took a 180-turn. Vassell and OC defender Ahmed Longmire were both sent off with red cards after a scuffle that resulted in both teams rushing to end the brawl. Both sides finished the match with ten men.

Fear not, though, Loyal fans. It didn’t take long for the Loyal to get back in front. Right before the halftime whistle, OC defender Ian Hoffman took down Nick Moon, that resulted in a penalty kick.

Guido lined up for the shot and drilled it to the right side of the net for his first brace of the season.

The Loyal led at the break. And the supporters were in for a show.

Second Half

With both sides down a man, it was interesting to see the tactics change from both managers.

The first 25 minutes or so of the second 45 didn’t provide any action at all. Substitute Evan Conway found himself wide open in the goal box for a chance at a 2-goal lead. However, he hesitated and decided to pass it off. That was an odd decision from Conway as the Loyal missed out on a huge opportunity.

Credit: Cali Camera/ EVT Sports

Just minutes later, captain Charlie Adams missed another close attempt that deflected off of the diving Shutler. In just a five-minute span, the Loyal could have seriously added to their advantage.

It almost hurt them quickly, as OC missed a shot just a few feet to the left of the goal that would have evened the score. With just 10 minutes remaining in the match … it was anyone’s game.

In the 89th minute, OC drilled a shot right over the head of Vegas that almost evened the score. Luckily for the Loyal, they held on and survived.

Guido talked about what it means to score at home and win in front of his hometown fans.

“It’s a dream come true,” Guido said. “Being here especially with my family and friends and people that have known me since I was young and followed my career. The fact that I am able to play in front of them, it’s surreal.”

The next match for the Loyal is on July 4 in Colorado Springs. CS is two points ahead of SD in second place. With a win for the Loyal on Independence Day, SD will be back in second place.

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News and Notes

  • Defender Jack Metcalf and forward Thomas Amang were unavailable due to lower body injuries.
  • Forward Evan Conway subbed in for Tumi Moshobane in the 58th minute.
  • Midfielder Camden Riley subbed on for Charlie Adams in the 82nd minute.
  • Kyle Vassell will miss the next match as a result of his disqualification. Vassell could miss up to three matches depending on the ruling of the suspension.

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