IRVINE, Calif. — LA Galaxy II were frustrated by Southern California rivals Orange County SC on Wednesday night as Los Dos fell to OCSC 2-1.
Los Dos got off and running quickly. In the second minute, Jonathan Perez opened the scoring with a header through a cross from the left side by Iván Gutiérrez that found an open Perez to flick to the back post.
LA’s interplay between the midfielders and the red-hot striker, Augustine Williams, who has scored six goals in his last eight appearances for Los Dos, got LA into good positions up the field throughout the game.
OC equalized in the 24th minute as Sean Okoli slashed a strike to the bottom corner past Galaxy II goalkeeper Abraham Romero, who minutes earlier made a strong save off of a low free kick.
Things went from bad to worse for Los Dos as Okoli scored a tap-in header to put Orange County in front 2-1 in the 38th minute. After LA’s strong start, the Los Dos attack seemed to be stifled by OC’s veteran defense except for a shot from outside of the box by Adam Saldaña that was smothered by goalkeeper Frederik Due.
LA struggled to find rhythm at the start of the second half, and nearly had a breakthrough when Perez flicked a shot past Due, but his effort came back off of the post and was cleared away.
Momentum seemed to shift for Los Dos, with the visitors drawing a free kick and putting pressure on the Orange County backline.
Williams had a big chance for Los Dos in the 60th minute with a cross back to him near the penalty spot, but the striker couldn’t get his shot to stay on target, zipping by the post.
Los Dos had a big penalty shout when Williams broke into the box in the 70th minute and went down as contact was initiated but referee Karen Callado waved it off. Head coach Junior Gonzalez was booked for his and his bench’s reaction to the incident.
Two minutes later, Jorge Hernandez lashed out at OC’s Kevin Alston, earning him a yellow card.
LA had one more huge penalty shout in stoppage time with a shot into traffic claimed to strike the arm of an OC defender, but the cries were dismissed by the officials and OCSC hung on to take the 2-1 win.
The teams will meet again in Irvine on Saturday at 7 p.m.
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