San Diego Loyal upset Orange County, win 2-0

Credit: EVT Sports/ Tony Fantano

Credit: EVT/T.Fantano

Torero Stadium – San Diego, California

The San Diego Loyal defeated Orange County SC 2-0 in a huge victory that earns them a hard-fought 3 points and catapults them into second place in Group B. The Loyal’s Alejandro Guido scored both goals and handed Orange County their first-ever loss at Torero Stadium.

In the 41st minute, The Loyal went up 1-0 when Alejandro Guido dribbled the ball up from the mid-field, then inward toward the top center of Orange County’s penalty box. Guido found some space and fired a low hard shot to the left that deflected off the keeper’s outstretched hand and into the goal.

Throughout the match, Orange County had the majority of the possession and more opportunities to score. Still, on Sunday, they lacked the offensive creativity it took to out-smart the Loyal defense. San Diego desperately held on to their advantage as the members of San Diego’s coaching staff implored their side to “keep fighting” and “stay focused.”Β  After clinging to their one-goal lead into the mid-way point in the second half, San Diego gave themselves some much-needed breathing room when they scored again.

In the 60th minute, Guido added another goal when he trapped a deflection off a corner kick at the top of Orange County’s box. Daring with a floating kick, he volleyed the ball just underneath the cross-bar to put the Loyal up 2-0.

Even though they were down two goals, the Orange County side relentlessly mounted attack after attack. The match had a total of eight Yellow Cards. There were a lot of hard tackles and chippy play, which is ordinary of the stiff competition in the USL.

Around the 82nd minute, the Loyal could taste the victory and the three points. Players on the Loyal were urging each other to “dig deep” and hold on for the win. The Loyal began to stall and work to play out the clock in the game’s final seconds. After six grueling minutes of stoppage time and a series of Orange County last-minute corner kicks, San Diego cleared the ball from their defensive side for the final time to secure the 2-0 shut out.

The Loyal went into the match two points behind the second and third place clubs with 16 points in Group B of the USL Championship. San Diego came into the match desperate for a win, and with the season winding down (and only the top two teams in Group B advancing into post-season play), the Loyal could settle for nothing less than a win.

With Sunday’s win and three more points on the season after Sunday’s match, The Loyal now has a total of 19 points and sits in second place in their group. Their record now stands at 5-4-4.

San Diego earned their second-straight win and head into their next match, looking to solidify their place as one of the top two teams in Group B of the USL Championship.

In their next match, San Diego will travel to Phoenix to take on the Rising at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19, as they prepare themselves for a possible birth into USL postseason competition.

All matches are available on ESPN+ and The CW San Diego.

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