Players from FC Golden State Force celebrate a goal against the Orange County SC. Photo: Orange County SC
Orange County SC and their fans at The Championship Stadium in Irvine, Calif. were left stunned as the fourth-placed side in the Western Conference of the USL lost 4-2 to FC Golden State Force of the PDL. In the process, the home side tied a record for most losses by a professional team to an amateur side in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, with five such losses to their name.
The start of the first half was cagey for both sides as they looked to feel each other out. Then, Orange County SC began to control more possession as the half went on, but they couldn’t break down a stingy Golden State defense. Most passes went side to side and they couldn’t put any sustained pressure on the away side’s backline, but Golden State was the more effective team on offense, catching Orange County on the counter attack on a number of occasions.
The breakthrough came in the 28th minute as OCSC midfielder Christian Duke made an inch-perfect tackle and rifled a shot past Golden State keeper Jose Miranda. It was an act of individual grit, determination, and skill as he started and finished the attack.
Two minutes later, Golden State equalized with Tyler Allen slotting a cross just out of reach of Orange County keeper Andre Rawls. It was the response the away side needed.
Golden State’s defense got caught napping as the clinical Dane, Thomas Enevoldsen latched on to a through ball from midfielder Koji Hashimoto and curled a shot past Miranda to make it 2-1 OCSC.
From here, the average fan would have expected the home side to take control of the match. They didn’t.
Golden State Force had a dream start to the second half as Thomas Juel-Nielsen took down Pedro Fonseca in the box and Alisson then converted the penalty to make it 2-2 in the 49th minute and for a good stretch of the second half, it was the visitors who controlled play and sustained possession in the attacking third of the pitch.
Orange County had no response to the onslaught that faced them and they conceded the lead in the 67th minute, when Samuel Goni Vilava scored.
The home side tried to get back into the game but Golden State stifled them defensively and limited their chances created before Golden State put the final nail in the coffin when Jose Fonseca rounded Andre Rawls to finish off a perfectly-executed counter and make it 4-2.
Golden State head coach Jon Spencer was overjoyed after the match:
“It couldn’t feel any better, I’m proud. My guys never gave up, they were down, but never know what out means.”
When asked if he would keep the same game plan against another USL opponent in the Third Round, Spencer offered,“Someone’s got to play Cinderella.”
FC Golden State Force will host the USL’s Las Vegas Lights in the Third Round of the US Open Cup.