OCFC Holds On for 2-1 Victory Over Albion [Video]

by Art Eftekhari

orange county fc earns second win of season in i-5 derby

Irvine, CA – It wasn’t a dominant win and at times it wasn’t pretty, but at the end of the night it was OCFC breathing a sigh of relief after a 2-1 victory over Albion Soccer Club San Diego.

Albion started off as the better side and created quality chances by dominating possession.

Striker Garrett Heine had an opportunity inside the first ten minutes but put his shot wide of the net despite having a good look with possession in the OCFC penalty area.

Minutes later midfielder Sean Callahan’s free header went over the bar after connecting with a cross from the right.

On the ensuing goal kick from keeper Brandon Gomez, the ball found its way to Jose Montes de Oca after a flick header from Kevin Jeon.

Montes found himself one-on-one with Albion keeper Jean Antoine and the OCFC striker put his shot into the net to earn his third goal of the season and give OCFC a 1-0 lead.

The lead didn’t last long as Albion was awarded a penalty kick after a handball in the OCFC penalty area.

Right back Matt Clare stepped up and put his shot past a diving Brandon Gomez to level the score at 1-1.

OCFC stepped up its game after Albion equalized, but the visitors continued to create more chances through the excellent play of midfielders Dallin Cutler and Felipe Liborio. The chances came for Albion, but many shots went wide or high over the net.

The home side changed up its tactics by playing long-ball and came close on more than one occasion through excellent runs from winger Dakota Collins. But the linesman raised his flag for offside on two possible opportunities, much to the frustration of Collins.

In the 45th minute, it was a pass from Collins that found midfielder Daniel ten Bosch.

The entire Albion backline was expecting an offside call and it appeared that ten Bosch was expecting the same.

But the whistle didn’t blow, keeper Jean Antoine was out in no-man’s land, and Daniel ten Bosch put his shot over Antoine and into the net to give OCFC a 2-1 lead heading into the interval.

The Albion defenders protested in vain to the linesman, but the goal stood.

Fans at Championship Soccer Stadium were expecting more goals in the second half after an entertaining first half.

It was a back and forth game with both teams trading possession in the first part of the second half, but towards the end of the match it was OCFC playing tight defense as they fought hard to hold onto the 2-1 lead.

Midfielder Armando Flores was all over the field tightening up on defense and getting into the passing lanes to create opportunities for his teammates while center backs Cody Shelton and Patrick Ianni were magnificent all night getting to 50/50 balls and sacrificing their bodies.

Albion head coach Ziggy Korytoski brought on 2017 NPSL Co-Golden Boot winner Amani Walker as a second half substitute to try and find the equalizer.

The Albion attack continued to be a problem for the home side and the best opportunity to score came in stoppage time when Albion was awarded a free kick just outside the OCFC penalty area.

Cutler curled his free kick over the OCFC wall, but Brandon Gomez made a magnificent diving save to preserve the vital 2-1 victory.

Albion outshot OCFC seven to three, but only two shots were on target and both were saved by keeper Brandon Gomez.

It wasn’t a pretty victory for Orange County FC, but everyone knows that a win is a win and three points are three points.

Orange County FC Starting Lineup

GK Brandon Gomez - Kley Bejarano, Cody Shelton, Patrick Ianni, Daniel Yo - Michael Bryant - Kevin Jeon (Nathan Yepez), Armando Flores, Daniel ten Bosch (Chris Gardea), Dakota Collins (Kevin Belmonte) - Jose Montes de Oca (Rooni Moreno)