The Lights didn’t have enough juice to hang with the Western Conference leaders.
Last night’s match between Las Vegas Lights FC and Orange County SC was a mismatch on paper. It featured the club at the top of the USL’s Western Conference and a club eliminated from playoff contention that just lost their technical director a week ago. But, despite all those differences, the match was competitive and unpredictable, like most Lights’ fixtures are.
Early on in the first half, Aodhan Quinn beat Ricardo Ferrino for the opening goal, off of a rebound. The clubs battled for the important next goal and it was the visitors at Cashman Field that found it. A long and high deflection somehow landed right at the feet of Thomas Enevoldsen behind the Las Vegas back line and he was able to tap one past Ferrino.
But, rather than simply fade away down 0-2, Lights FC battled back. After being on the wrong end of a deflection, a poor headed clearance by OC perfectly set up a charging Juan Carlos Garcia, who buried the chance past Andre Rawls. Before the halftime whistle, a crazy sequence in front of goal found the Lights’ equalizer. A couple poor clearance attempts and a cheeky flick from Miguel Garduno pulled the score level at 2-2 going into the break.
With momentum on their side, Lights FC scored the go-ahead goal minutes after coming out of the locker room. Raul Mendiola’s cross found an unmarked Sammy Ochoa and the big striker blasted the header home.
Unfortunately, that would be the final goal of the match for Las Vegas and Orange County wasn’t nearly done. Michael Seaton, a second-half sub, scored a brace, one on a soft, deflected shot and the other on a questionable onside call. Enevoldsen scored late in stoppage time for the dagger.
Playing against one of the top clubs in the league, Lights FC didn’t look horribly over-matched. They were narrowly out-possessed by an elite passing team and actually held the edge on total shots. It was a fun mid-week fixture and will lead into another home match on Saturday when Lights FC hosts OKC Energy FC.