SAN DIEGO – Alejandro Guido scored both goals as San Diego Loyal SC earned a 2-0 victory against Orange County SC on Sunday night at Torero Stadium, a win that moved SD Loyal into second place in Group B in the Championship’s race of the playoffs.
The game opened patiently with neither side able to create much in attack, and the first shot on goal didn’t arrive until the 19th minute when San Diego’s Rubio Rubin fired a long effort from the right channel that was swallowed up by Orange County goalkeeper Frederick Due at the second attempt.
A key moment arrived just before the half-hour mark, though, as Orange County was awarded a penalty kick after forward Ugo Okoli and SD Loyal goalkeeper Jon Kempin collided going for the ball after defender Tarek Morad had tried to head backward to his goalkeeper. After consulting with his Assistant Referee on the decision, the call was reversed to leave San Diego with a free kick and no chance from the spot for the hosts.
Kempin was called on to make a big save in the 39th minute as after Okoli was dispossessed before getting a chance to shoot the ball came to Darwin Jones in the left side of the penalty area. Jones cut back toward the penalty spot and fired a shot toward the opposite corner that was denied by Kempin, and then defender Elijah Martin blocked the follow-up attempt by Okoli at the right post to keep the game scoreless.
That would prove key two minutes later as SD Loyal struck first. After Martin passed inside to Guido about 45 yards from goal, the Los Angeles FC loanee outpaced one defender as he drove toward the top of the penalty area and fired low into the left corner of the net to put the hosts head.
San Diego almost doubled its lead 11 minutes into the second half as a counterattack saw Miguel Berry release Rubin down the right side. Berry turned quickly at the halfway line made a run to the far post that Rubin picked out with a low cross, but while his finish got past Due it was cleared off the line by Orange County defender Rob Kiernan to deny the former University of San Diego standout a goal.
Guido forced a good save from Due on another counterattack chance for the hosts in the 64th minute, but from the ensuing corner kick he would double SD Loyal’s lead. A delivery to the back post by Charlie Adams was punched clear by Due as he came off his line, but the ball flew straight to Guido, who controlled with his first touch and then lobbed a finish over the crowd and Due and into the back of the net.
Orange County tried to apply pressure in the final 20 minutes to try and get back into the game, but their thrusts were met with committed defending from the hosts as clear chances were few and far between. In the end, time ran out as San Diego recorded its third shutout in the past four games and a second consecutive victory.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Alejandro Guido, San Diego Loyal SC – Guido scored two outstanding goals, had four shots total and completed one key pass and 23 of 27 overall in a strong display for the hosts.