OCFC win shootout in the valley
despite being reduced to ten men in the second half, Orange County fc fought hard and kept their cool to defeat City of Angels FC 4-3 to remain unbeaten
Los Angeles, CA - The conditions were perfect for a shootout in the Valley: a match played behind closed doors on April Fool's Day between hosts City of Angels FC and visitors Orange County FC.
City of Angels FC were hungry for a win but it would surely be difficult without the support of a home crowd.
OCFC took a 1-0 lead when striker Alessandro Canale connected on a cross from right back Justice Dverksen after five minutes.
City of Angels wasted no time and took advantage of breakdowns in the OCFC defense to take a surprising 2-1 lead within ten minutes on goals scored by Tarek Nazzal and Byron Rivera.
Orange County FC refused to get pushed around and found the equalizer in the 34th minute when Canale scored his second goal of the match by putting a penalty kick past keeper Jesus Cuellar Jr.
OCFC were looking to tighten up on defense in the second half but two minutes before the hour mark they suddenly made their job harder when midfielder Edward Anthony Morales was sent off for a hard foul.
Fortunately for OCFC, the hosts were also reduced to ten men six minutes later when captain Jovian Amirkiai was sent off after receiving his second yellow card for bringing down Staforde Palmer in the penalty area. The English striker who had just been fouled decided to take the kick himself and converted to put OCFC back in front with a 3-2 lead.
Fifteen minutes remained on the clock when midfielder Joseph Fernandez leveled the score at 3-3 for City of Angels FC after a mix-up in the OCFC penalty area led to the sixth goal of the match in what was turning out to be a thriller.
"We couldn't get the ball out of our area," said captain Erik Mueller. "Fernandez was in the right place at the right time and the game was tied again."
But OCFC were not content with leaving the Valley with a point and winger Jose Montes de Oca scored his second goal of the season when he rifled a shot into the far upper corner after a nice run down the right side with eight minutes remaining.
City of Angels FC did what they could to try and equalize again but Orange County FC held firm and were more than relieved at the final whistle as they earned a vital 4-3 victory.
After three matches played in the 2017 NPSL season, OCFC now have two wins and one draw.
Staforde Palmer was recognized as Man of the Match and OCFC will be on the road when they pay a visit to the Oxnard Guerreros on April 8th.