OCSC Drops Points At Home As They Continue To Push For A Playoff Spot
By Tristan Bonetto – LA Soccer Press
Orange County SC was held to a 1-1 draw against Las Vegas Lights FC on Wednesday, August 17th, at Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine, CA. The draw extended OCSC’s unbeaten run in August as they are 1-0-2 with one match left this month.
There were no changes to the Men in Orange’s starting eleven after their remarkable victory against Phoenix Rising FC on Saturday, August 12th. Milan Iloski opened the scoring for OCSC in the tenth minute, and the goal resembled his match-winning goal against Rising FC.
Dillon Powers sent a chip pass over the defense, and Lights FC defender Morten Björshol was out of reach of the ball as Iloski controlled it with his chest. Iloski dribbled around Lights FC and former OCSC goalkeeper Abraham Romero and tucked away the goal in the top right corner to make it 1-0.
Patrick Rakovsky kept the match at 1-0 for OCSC when he saved a shot from Lights FC forward Cal Jennings in the 28th minute. The first half ended with OCSC hanging on to the 1-0 lead as the defense stood strong, only allowing a few shots on goal.
OCSC started the second half with viable chances but couldn’t find the back of the net.
OCSC’s defensive stoutness ended in the 52nd minute as Lights FC found an equalizer. A rebounded shot from Jorge Almaguer that Rakovsky deflected away was picked up by Jennings as he headed in the equalizer to make it 1-1 for Lights FC.
Romero came up big for Lights FC in the 63rd minute when he parried away a shot from Sean “Ugo” Okoli. The rebound fell to Iloski, who took a shot, but Romero was present once again to keep the match at 1-1.
Rakovsky salvaged a point for OCSC by making two crucial saves in the last 15 minutes of the match.
OCSC gets some much-needed rest as they have a week and a half off before traveling to the East Coast to take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday, August 27th, at Al Lang Stadium, in St. Petersburg, FL. This will be a rematch of the 2021 USL Championship Final, where OCSC defeated the Rowdies 3-1.
Iloski’s goal puts him at 19 goals on the season, taking a four-goal lead for the USL Championship Golden Boot race. Oakland Roots SC forward Óttar Magnús Karlsson is in second place for the Golden Boot race with 15 goals.
Iloski is a goal away from tying the OCSC single-season scoring record held by former OCSC player and USL Champion Thomas Enevoldsen. Enevoldsen scored 20 goals in the 2018 USL Championship season with OCSC.
Daniel A. Pedersen returned from injury as he was substituted on the pitch for Kevin Partida in the 63rd minute.
Bonetto is a student at CSU Long Beach. He covers Orange County Soccer Club for LA Soccer Press. Follow him at @tristanbonetto on Twitter.