CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy II clinched a second consecutive trip to the USL Championship Playoffs as Augustine Williams scored twice in a 3-1 victory against Orange County SC on Wednesday night at Dignity Health Sports Park. Williams is now second in the Championship with 12 goals this season.
Looking to jump past Los Dos at the start of the night in Group B, Orange County got out to an ideal start as Ugo Okoli began and finished a move to put the visitors ahead. Okoli picked possession up in midfield and played an angled pass to the right for Darwin Jones, and then broke forward into the penalty area to arrive on time to finish Jones’ low cross just outside the six-yard area.
The Galaxy II hit back in similar fashion, however, as Williams sent a through-ball forward from midfield to put Jorge Hernández thought on the right side. Hernández faced up to his defender inside the right edge of the penalty area and then picked out the run of Williams as he broke forward centrally before finishing with the outside of his right boot to the bottom-right corner.
The game reached the halftime break level, but 11 minutes into the second half Orange County threatened again as Aodhan Quinn’s cross from the right picked out a back-post run by Okoli that he sent just wide of the left post. The Galaxy II’s Alejandro Alvarado Jr. then went close as a knock-down of a free kick by Williams set up a shot that got deflected slightly on the way to goal, but was still kept out by OCSC goalkeeper Frederick Due.
Midway through the half, though, Williams drove forward into the left side of the penalty area and was brought down by OCSC’s Kevin Alston, resulting in a penalty kick. Williams stepped up and shot into the right side of the net as Due went the other way to give Los Dos the lead.
Orange County pressured to find an equalizer, and Okoli had a weak effort saved with 19 minutes to go. Los Dos put up a solid defensive effort, but needed a crucial save in the final minute as an initial effort from Okoli deflected toward Jones, whose close-range finish deflected off the shoulder of Galaxy II goalkeeper Abraham Romero and behind for a corner.
Two minutes into stoppage time, however, Hernandez wrapped up the victory and the postseason spot for the hosts as he was slipped into the right side of the penalty area by Sebastian Nava and chipped a finish into the far corner of the net past Due to give the Galaxy II all three points on the night.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Augustine Williams, LA Galaxy II – Williams bagged a brace, and was brought down for the penalty kick he converted, while completing 17 of 23 passes overall in another strong display.