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Sounders 2 lose dreary match in Irvine

Questionable refereeing and goalkeeping steal points from S2 again.

Seattle Sounders 2 and Orange County FC played one of the least eventful matches you will see. Well, except for about 3 minutes of it. Both sides scored with in two minutes of each other in the second half; Azriel Gonzalez with a spectacular strike for S2 and Richard Chaplow with his hand for OC. After that brief outburst the game returned to its boring pace and it looked like S2 would earn a frustrating but well worked draw. Then in the fourth minute of extra time the ref pointed to the spot and likely point earned turned to 0.

OC were almost the first to score off of a corner in the 4’. Aodhan Quinn sent in a good ball that found the head of Michael Seaton but he couldn’t keep it down and it hit the crossbar. OC had most of the dangerous chances in the first 10 minutes but S2 showed some good passing and movement deep in the OC half.

S2 almost had a dangerous chance in the 16’ minute after a spell with the ball that lasted almost 4 minutes. The patient buildup ended with a beautiful through ball from Shandon Hopeau in search of Alec Diaz. The offside flag went up in the end, but it was a wonderful spell of calculated possession with a decisive final ball that really deserved a goal.

After that the game fell into a bit of a pattern, with long spells of possession from S2 in the middle third being interrupted by counters and long balls over the top from OC. Eventually OC wrestled the possession battle from S2 but, honestly, nothing more eventful happened for either side and they went to halftime even at 0.

Despite the boringness S2 will have been happy to get to half even and they came out flying in the second with a shot from Marlon Vargas that Andre Rawls barely turned aside. After the early chance S2 pressed high and kept OC deep in their own half. That brief moment of excitement the game settled back down into the uneventful affair it was in the first half, though S2 pushed the line of confrontation much more in their favor.

That higher line of confrontation paid off in the 60’ when Gonzalez got the ball and drove up the field. OC seemed tentative and kept backing off the young midfielder. Gonzalez took advantage of the time and space and unleashed a dipping shot from way outside the box that beat Rawls to give S1 the 1-0 lead.

The S2 goal seemed to wake OC up though and just moments later they got the equalizer. Brown came to claim a corner but mostly missed it. His weak deflection found the head of Alex Crognale who headed the ball towards the middle of the goal. Richard Chaplow then put the ball over the line with his arm, but the ref didn’t see it and awarded OC the goal to make it 1-1 in the 62’.

The two goals injected a bit of something into the game, but, while the match became more hectic, it didn’t really become more eventful.

Another moment of excitement did finally come in the 80’ when Denso Ulysse released Vargas down the field with a pretty flicked header. Vargas got on the ball and drove deep in the box, he than broke some ankles with a nice cut back and let go a shot from 12 yards out. It looked for all the world like S2 would take the lead but Vargas put it a little too close to Rawls who pawed the ball wide.

That would be S2’s last chance as OC pushed for the win late. It looked like S2 would escape with a hard fought draw but in extra time Ulysse got a bit unlucky and took Giovanni Ramos Godoy’s feet out from under him at the edge of the box. The Ref pointed to the spot and Quinn converted the penalty to give OC the 2-1 win.

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