IRVINE, Calif. – Rio Grande Valley FC scored both early and late through Juan Azócar and Rodrigo López, respectively, to knock off Orange County SC on the road and extend its unbeaten streak to three games running.
The visitors came storming out of the gate and found themselves in front after just two minutes when midfielders Wan Kuzain and Juan Azócar linked up for the opener. Streaking down the left side of the pitch, Kuzain drug the ball to the endline before pushing a low cross across the box near the top where Azócar came rushing to connect on a drive past OC goalkeeper Patrick Rakovsky to put his side in front.
Unable to find an equalizer through the remainder of the first half, Orange County came closest to its first in the 56th minute when midfielder Chris Wehan whipped a free kick effort in toward the top left corner of RGVFC goalkeeper Tyler Deric's goal, but the netminder was equal to the effort and palmed it away to safety.
Pushing for a second, RGVFC's Ronald Alexis Cerritos went flying into the box and, in taking the ball down near the endline, baited OC defender Kobi Henry into a challenge that resulted in a penalty for the visitors. Stepping up to the spot, RGVFC's López converted with a calm finish to the goalkeeper's left to seal the points.
The win keeps RGVFC first in the Mountain Division ahead of El Paso Locomotive FC, while Orange County maintains its position in second in the Pacific Division behind Phoenix Rising FC.
USL Championship Man of the Match
Juan Azócar, Rio Grande Valley FC - Azócar's goal ultimately won RGVFC the contest, but the midfielder was his side's main source of inspiration, creating four chances and completing just over 96 percent of his passes.
RGV – Juan Azócar (Wan Kuzain) 2'
RGV – Rodrigo López (Penalty Kick) 80'