OCFC Fall to FC Arizona

by Art Eftekhari

orange county fc suffer first loss of 2019 npsl season

Irvine, CA – It finally happened: FC Arizona scored a goal against Orange County FC on March 1 at Championship Soccer Stadium.

But in this match, FC Arizona killed two birds with one stone by defeating OCFC 3-1 behind goals from Omar Nuño, Cesar Mexia, and Gerardo Young.

Early in the match it was OCFC that had more possession before things settled down and both teams traded opportunities.

Korean winger Dawon Kim had an excellent chance to put OCFC on the board but his shot from inside the penalty area was saved nicely by FC Arizona keeper Costeño.

A free kick in the 21st minute from midfielder Shannon Cole was headed into the net by Omar Nuño to give FC Arizona a 1-0 lead and its first ever goal against Orange County FC.

FC Arizona held the lead going into the interval and the visitors nearly doubled their lead early in the second half but OCFC keeper Pepe Miranda came up with a clutch save to keep his team in the game.

Many were wondering when the breakthrough would come for OCFC with minutes ticking away in the second half.

Finally, a long pass found Dakota Collins beating the offside trap and he was fouled in the penalty area by Luke Lavanway to earn a penalty kick in the 64th minute.

Collins stepped up and scored his fourth goal of the season as Costeño dove the wrong way.

Eight minutes later FC Arizona was on the attack but the ball was cleared by OCFC right-back Tekodah Lobsiger.

Yet the official blew the whistle and pointed to the penalty spot after an apparent foul. Cesar Mexia put his shot into the corner to beat a diving Miranda as FC Arizona retook the lead.

But five minutes later OCFC was awarded another penalty after Dawon Kim was brought down in the penalty area.

Collins took the penalty kick again, but this time Costeño guessed right and made a diving save to swing the momentum in FC Arizona’s favor.

Two minutes later an unmarked Gerardo Young headed home a corner kick to put the game away and give FC Arizona a 3-1 lead.

It was not to be OCFC’s night and faces of disappointment could be seen in the post game locker room.

But with fifteen games left to be played in the 2019 NPSL Season, the OCFC players must forget about the loss to FC Arizona and focus on what’s ahead because wins never come easy in the NPSL Southwest.