OCFC 2 defeat Santa Ana Winds 3-0

by Art Eftekhari

ocfc 2 open 2017 fall upsl season with 3-0 victory over santa ana winds fc

Lake Forest, CA – Orange County FC 2 made their debut in the United Premier Soccer League against Santa Ana Winds FC on Sunday September 17 at Lake Forest Sports Complex.

Early on it looked as though Santa Ana could have taken the lead while exploiting space in the OCFC midfield but captain and center back Alex Ferreira kept his defense organized.

OCFC took a 1-0 lead twelve minutes into the match after a corner kick could not be cleared by Santa Ana.

Midfielder Jonny Romero fired in a shot past keeper Dylan Diaz from the top of the penalty area to give OCFC 2 the perfect start in their UPSL debut.

One minute later Cody Shelton took advantage of mistakes made by the Santa Ana Winds defense and Korean midfielder Kim Gi-bae slotted home the ball off a rebound to make the score 2-0.

The game settled down a bit and Santa Ana were able to establish control but OCFC 2 keeper Brent Reis was in top form.

The match got physical in the second half and in the 68th minute, OCFC 2 were awarded a penalty kick when Connor Milstead was fouled in the box by Eziquial.

A red card was issued to Eziquial and Santa Ana were reduced to ten men. It took a few minutes for the kick to be taken due to drama and protesting from the Santa Ana players but the penalty was converted perfectly by Jonny Romero as OCFC took a 3-0 lead.

Ironically, one minute later at the other end of the field, Santa Ana Winds were awarded a penalty kick after an inadvertent hand ball by Paulino Chagoya in the penalty area.

It was the perfect opportunity for Santa Ana to get back into the match but keeper Brent Reis made an excellent diving-save to his left to preserve the three-goal lead and shutout.

Both sides traded opportunities but OCFC 2 were victorious in the end with a 3-0 victory.

The result was the perfect start for Paul Caligiuri and OCFC 2 and Man of the Match Jonny Romero was thrilled with the team effort.

"I think we stepped up our game defensively," said Romero. "We played hard and finished our opportunities in front of the goal."

One week earlier Santa Ana Winds FC were victorious against OCFC 2 in a preseason friendly but a brace from Jonny Romero, a goal from Kim Gi-bae, and excellent goalkeeping from Brent Reis gave OCFC 2 the perfect start and three points in the standings.

Afterwards we caught up with Reis and he was quick with his pick for man of the match.

"It was a 3-0 win for us," said Reis. "I think the guy who scored first in a three-goal victory deserves to be man of the match."