LA Galaxy II officially clinched the 2020 USL Championship playoffs a huge boost as they defeated one of the two teams competing for the final spot with them, Orange County SC, 3-1 Wednesday at Dignity Health Sports Park.
The playoff spot is definitively clinched, with one match left to play, and another coherent performance gave LA the postseason berth few expected them to take at the start of the season.
LA conceded early, with Ugo Okoli poking in a low cross into the box for Orange County just six minutes in.
But Los Dos had an immediate answer, with Augustine Williams equalizing in the 10th minute with a one-timer off a late run from Jorge Hernandez’s cross.
There were no more goals in the first 45, as the teams played at a breakneck pace but couldn’t get good looks to add to the scoresheet.
LA nearly took the lead in the 62nd minute with a shot off an indirect free kick forcing a save from OC goalkeeper Frederik Due, and the ball trickling agonizingly wide of target after that.
But Williams drew a penalty a few minutes later, from a wild challenge in the box by OC defender Kevin Alston. Williams took the attempt himself and scored his second goal of the night to make it 2-1.
Abraham Romero was forced to make a big stop in the 90th minute to maintain Los Dos’ advantage, then Hernandez scored the insurance goal two minutes later to ice the win for LA.
It was a great performance for LA, who stuck with Orange County even after their early goal and outlasted them in the end. They weren’t playing with pressure and they had the easier time of it, and now they are potentially in the playoffs with a point in their final game.
Los Dos will end the 2020 USL Championship regular season Saturday when they play Phoenix Rising FC in Arizona. It’s a tough draw, but they don’t have to worry about their playoff prospects, so they can play with some freedom. They seem to play well that way.
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