Late Strike Defeats OCFC [Video]

by Art Eftekhari

orange county fc suffers first defeat of season in loss to fc golden state

Irvine, CA – Everyone was talking about OCFC’s last victory against Albion and it appeared that Paul Caligiuri’s men were peaking at the right time.

But in the first half it was all FC Golden State and the visitors took an early lead when winger Mark Hernandez beat Brandon Gomez at the near post in the 9th minute.

At times it appeared as if the OCFC players might have been a little rusty due to the bye week, but the home side was getting outmuscled to the ball on more than one occasion.

It was a frustrating first half for Orange County FC and it was evident that Paul Caligiuri and his assistant Cyrus Navabpour would have plenty of adjustments to make.

The talk at halftime clearly helped because everyone saw a different OCFC team after the restart. The intensity was kicked up and OCFC was poised to find the equalizer.

Captain Michael Bryant came close, but his header was denied by a diving save from FC Golden State keeper Kevin Marquez.

Orange County FC kept up the pressure and after a beautiful give-and-go between Michael Bryant and Dakota Collins, the former chipped his shot over Marquez to level the score at 1-1.

It was exactly what the home side needed and suddenly the I-5 Army had reason to make noise at Championship Soccer Stadium.

Minutes later it appeared as though OCFC had taken the lead through Dakota Collins, but the speedy winger was ruled offside in what was considered a questionable call.

Both teams traded opportunities in what turned out to be a very entertaining match on a Friday night in Irvine.

But with time ticking away, it was FC Golden State that found the winning goal on the counterattack through Jimmie Villalobos.

Orange County FC fought hard until the last whistle but couldn’t find another equalizer.

It was a tough loss to swallow and now FC Golden State is in the driver seat to win the NPSL Southwest.