OCFC Fight Back to Defeat Oxnard [Video]

by Art Eftekhari

three second half goals secure victory for ocfc at del sol stadium

Oxnard, CA – It wasn’t the prettiest of wins for Orange County FC over Oxnard Guerreros FC on May 11. But at the end of the day, a win is a win and three points are three points.

Fatigue may have been a factor considering a lot of soccer has been played lately by OCFC and it was evident that Paul Caligiuri’s men were not hitting on all cylinders in the first half.

OCFC controlled possession from the start but was unable to find the first goal of the match.

Instead, Oxnard capitalized took its first ever lead against OCFC when it punished the visitors on the counterattack in the 23rd minute as midfielder Raul Gonzalez scored his fourth goal of the season to give Oxnard a 1-0 lead.

In the previous two meetings in Oxnard, matches at Del Sol Stadium have always been a dogfight for OCFC and the trend continued on Saturday night.

Head coach Paul Caligiuri made changes at the half and brought on Michael Bryant and Oscar Flores for Eder Arreola and Brian O’ Hara.

Paul Caligiuri’s men knew they needed a victory to keep pace in the NPSL Southwest and whatever was said in the halftime locker room, something changed on the pitch as the OCFC players took control of the match and pick up the intensity.

Scoring opportunities were created and Oxnard resorted to a strategy of parking the bus in hopes of holding on for the victory.

Dakota Collins made a nice move down the left flank and his cross found leading scorer Cody Shelton.

Unfortunately for Shelton, his shot bounced off the post. But OCFC was knocking on the door and more opportunities would come.

Finally, in the 63rd minute, a free kick from second half substitute Oscar Flores couldn’t be cleared in a crowded Oxnard penalty area and center-back Ryan Holland knocked in the loose ball to level the score at 1-1.

OCFC kept pressing and looking for the match winner but the Oxnard defenders held firm.

With seven minutes remaining in the match there appeared to be a foul committed on Oxnard midfielder Raul Gonzalez.

Players on both teams stopped momentarily as they waited for a whistle. But Michael Bryant didn’t hear a whistle and took advantage as his pass found Joshua Bynoe.

Bynoe wasted no time and fired a left-footed shot from the top of the penalty area to give OCFC a 2-1 lead.

The job was nearly done for OCFC and the Oxnard attack was virtually nonexistent in the second half.

In stoppage time, second half substitute Ramin Amindari was brought down in the penalty area and OCFC was awarded a penalty.

Dakota Collins stepped up to take the kick and scored easily as Oxnard keeper Angel Cervantes dove the wrong way.

The OCFC players were relieved at the final whistle and now all the attention can be focused to the biggest game in OCFC history on May 15 when OCFC faces Orange County Soccer Club of the USL Championship on May 15 in Irvine.

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