SD Loyal SC defeat Orange County SC 2-1

Credit: Loyal

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Credit: Loyal

The San Diego Loyal earned a crucial three points in a thrilling comeback victory with only ten men.

This match will certainly be called one of the most exciting of the entire 2021 season for the Loyal. It was entertaining from kickoff, and the end of the match kept the entire stadium on their feet.

San Diego improves to (6-4-3) with 21 points on the season and remains undefeated at home.

The Loyal jumped OC for second place with 21 points and haven’t lost in their last nine matches. OC also has 21 points but are now in third due to head-to-head matchups.

Manager Landon Donovan issued a 4-4-2 formation with Trey Muse back in goal for the Loyal. Corey Hertzog and Alejandro Guido were upfront, and Joshua Yaro started at left-back in place of Elijah Martin.

The first 45 was a rollercoaster of a half. Both sides were creating chances to score, and it seemed as if they both would connect.

That wouldn’t be the case, though. Unlucky opportunities kept the score even at zero, but not after some crazy misses. Guido and midfielder Collin Martin both had open shots early but just barely missed.

Credit: Loyal

San Diego controlled most of the possession at 58% and finished the half with nine shot attempts. None of the nine were on target, but they definitely threatened the OC keeper and defenders.

The second half showed similar flair and energy. It got a little tense between the players, and so much so that Loyal defender Grant Stoneman was issued his second yellow card in the 60th minute.

That forced the Loyal to play with 10 men, and Orange County took immediate advantage of their opportunity.

OC connected with a goal that slipped between Muse’s legs to give them the late lead in the 67th minute.

“There are times during the year when you aren’t perfect. We weren’t perfect tonight,” Donovan said. “We were pretty good but you see what you’re team is made of. I’m just really proud of the effort and performance. It’s nothing we do for them to respond that way. They have good character. Our guys always keep going.”

The OC lead would not hold for long, and the Loyal earned a free kick in the 74th minute that led to the match’s first goal.

Jack Blake assisted, and Callum Montgomery put it in the back of the net to tie the match!

Before anyone could finish celebrating that goal, the Loyal scored again just a few minutes later. Blake put a beautiful cross right in front of substitute Tumi Moshobane where he connected with a header. That was Moshobane’s second goal of the season, both coming against OC.

The Loyal are in form. They are playing as well as anyone could really ask for and against a very tough division.

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The next match for the Loyal is Saturday, July 24, at home against the first-place Phoenix Rising. It will be a much-needed 10 days rest for the Loyal, as they have their most important matchup of the season in front of them.

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