Orange County SC controlled the majority of the match, but were unable to find the finishing kick in their 1-1 draw with the Tampa Bay Rowdies on March 18 at Championship Stadium in Irvine, CA.
The Black and Orange had the better quality chances, but unfortunately were only able to come away with one goal on the night. Midfielder Ashish Chattha, in his first professional start, had Orange County’s first chance of the night in the sixth minute, but the former Anteater’s effort went just wide of goal.
Tampa Bay’s best opportunity in the first half came later on in the 23rd minute, when their high press forced a turnover. The ball fell to Tampa midfielder Sebastian Dalgaard, but his shot on target was saved by OCSC’s new shot stopper, Cody Cropper.
For the second straight week, OCSC found the scoresheet in the 40th minute of play courtesy of a first time goal scorer as Emil Nielsen opened his Orange County account.
Midfielder Kyle Scott began the play catching his balance after nearly slipping at midfield, then played through defender Brent Richards, who then found Nielsen just outside the six yard box and the Danish Bull made no mistake.
OCSC fully deserved their halftime lead, and continued the second half on the front foot. Right on the restart, forward Milan Iloski intercepted the ball in the attacking third and played Scott through on goal. His shot from just outside the box was saved by Rowdies keeper, Phill Breno.
After a good stretch of build up play, Nielsen found Iloski on the far post in the 61st minute. The Golden Boot winner’s effort seemed destined for the top corner after beating Breno, but was miraculously cleared off the line by Rowdies defender Aaron Guillen’s face.
Iloski again had a chance in the 77th minute when he was on the receiving end of a cross from substitute Korede Osundina. His left footed volley was parried away again by Breno.
Tampa Bay equalized in the 82nd minute off a corner from midfielder Charlie Dennis that was flicked on to the right foot of Haitian midfielder Zachary Herivaux and in.
While the Black and Orange may have been unlucky to secure all three points at the Champ tonight, there was a marked improvement from the squad following their loss in the home opener last week. OCSC will look to continue to build on that momentum when they host Las Vegas Lights FC next Saturday, March 25 at 7:00 PST. A limited number of tickets are still available and can be purchased here.
MILESTONES AND FACTS:
Tonight marked the professional start for midfielder Ashish Chattha.
Tonight was Emil Nielsen’s first goal for OCSC
This match was the first match for Cody Cropper with OCSC.
The announced attendance was 4,278.
|TEAM||FIRST HALF||SECOND HALF||FULL TIME|
40’ Emil Nielsen (OCSC)
82’ Zachary Herivaux (TBR)
ORANGE COUNTY SC
34’ Ashish Chattha
90’ Dillon Powers
TAMPA BAY ROWDIES
75’ Forrest Lasso
ORANGE COUNTY SC LINEUP:
Cody Cropper (GK); Brent Richards, Andrew Fox, Markus Nakkim, Alex Villanueva; Dillon Powers (C), Kevin Partida, Kyle Scott (80’ Ryan Doghman), Ashish Chattha, Milan Iloski, Emil Nielsen (67’ Korede Osundina)
Unused subs: Colin Shutler (GK) Nico Ruiz, Owen Lambe, Bryce Jamison
Head Coach: Richard Chaplow
Possession: 48% | Shots: 15 | Shots On Goal: 5 | Corners: 10 | Fouls: 14 | Offsides: 1 |
TAMPA BAY ROWDIES LINEUP:
Phill Breno (GK); Forrest Lasso, Frederik Kleemann (67’ Conner Antley), Aaron Guillen, Jake Areman (46’ Dayonn Harris), Zachary Herivaux, Jordan Doherty, Sebastian Asmussen, Charlie Dennis, Jerome “JJ” Williams (Ariel Martínez 46’), Caleb “Cal” Jennings
Unused subs: Raiko Arozarena (GK); Lucky Mkosana, Yann Ekra
Head Coach: Neil Collins
Possession: 52% | Shots: 7 | Shots On Goal: 2 | Corners: 3 | Fouls: 12 | Offsides: 2 |
Orange County SC vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
2023 USL Championship | Matchday 2
Date: March 18, 2023
Venue: Championship Stadium (Irvine, CA)
Weather: A bit Hoppy. Beer or the bunny, take your pick