SAN DIEGO – San Diego Loyal SC rallied from a goal down while down to 10 men as Jack Blake played a role in goals from Callum Montgomery and Tumi Moshobane that saw the side take a 2-1 victory against Orange County SC at Torero Stadium on Wednesday night, extending SD Loyal’s undefeated streak to nine games while bringing Orange County’s eight-game run to an end.
San Diego controlled the tempo early and almost took the lead in the 19th minute as a measured ball by Corey Hertzog found Jack Blake moving into the right side of the penalty area, and his low ball across the face of goal was just out of the reach of a sliding Charlie Adams. The ball came to Miguel Ibarra beyond the back post, but his effort hit a prone Adams and went behind for a goal kick.
Adams went close to an opener again just past the half-hour mark as he gained possession outside the penalty area but curled his shot over the top-left corner of the net. Then four minutes before halftime, San Diego’s pressure forced a mistake as Orange County looked to play out as the ball came to Collin Martin, but the midfielder fired high from the right side of the penalty area.
Orange County had a chance late in the first half as Nathan Smith fired just wide of the left post as he pushed up from his left back position, but six minutes into the second half Adams went close again for San Diego with a free kick from 25 yards that he clipped up and over the wall toward the right corner of the net to force a good diving save from Orange County’s Abraham Romero.
The visitors began to gain more of a foothold in the attacking third in the second half, though, and in the 54th minute Eero Markannen was denied by a fine save by SD Loyal’s Trey Muse after a low cross had been only half-cleared to the top of the penalty by an OCSC defender. On the hour-mark the game appeared to tilt in Orange County’s favor as San Diego’s Grant Stoneman was sent off for his second yellow card of the night to reduce the hosts to 10 men.
Seven minutes later OCSC went ahead as they turned over possession in midfield and began a break upfield. Mikko Kuningas carried the play forward and slipped a pass through to fellow Finn Markkanen for a clipped first-time finish from the right side of the penalty area that found the back of the net.
San Diego responded quickly to level in the 74th minute, however, as off a free kick from the left channel Blake delivered a ball toward the right side of the penalty area that Montgomery headed home off the inside of the right post. Two minutes later the hosts went in front as Blake was key to the build-up again, firing a low cross from the left that took a deflection off a defender’s foot and sat up nicely for Moshobane, who headed into the right side of the net to send the supporters behind the goal into celebration.
Orange County looked to get back on level terms inside the final 10 minutes as Brent Richards steered a header on target off a corner from the right by Brian Iloski that was saved by Muse. San Diego then had a chance to put the game away with two minutes to go as Moshobane played a pass for Ben Spencer as he cut toward the top of the penalty area for a shot that went just wide of the left post. But while OCSC had a pair of late chances to even the game, both Eric Calvillo and Richards were unable to find the target as San Diego held on for an impressive comeback victory.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Callum Montgomery, San Diego Loyal SC – Montgomery scored the opening goal in SD Loyal’s comeback and defensively recorded three clearances and seven recoveries as the hosts took a remarkable win.
OC – Eero Markkanen (Mikko Kuningas) 67’
SD – Callum Montgomery (Jack Blake) 74’
SD – Tumi Moshobane 76’