Photo courtesy Steven Christy / OKC Energy FC
OKLAHOMA CITY – OKC Energy FC claimed its second win of the season as it defeated Orange County SC 1-0 at Taft Stadium on Saturday night. Energy FC had the first good chance in the 11th minute when Miguel Gonzalez forced a good save by OC goalkeeper Charlie Lyon from 20 yards, while Alex Dixon sent a low shot just wide of the left post five minutes later. Orange County was reduced to 10 men in the 25th minute when Oscar Sorto fouled Gonzalez to give away a penalty kick, but OKC was unable to take advantage from the spot as Kyle Hyland’s shot to the right corner was saved by Lyon. Energy FC took the lead before the break, though, as Dixon’s low shot from the right side of the penalty area found the left corner of the net. Energy FC tried to add to its lead early in the second half as Gonzalez was denied by Lyon six minutes after the break, while a close-range effort by Wojciech Wojcik was also saved. Orange County’s Jerry van Ewijk sent a free kick off target with 19 minutes to go, but Energy FC did enough to earn an important win.
35’ – OKC – Alex Dixon (Miguel Gonzalez)
Three Things That Matter:
1. If there was a performance OKC Energy FC was looking for as it entered Saturday’s game with only one win in the league this season, the dominant attacking display the side produced against Orange County was it. Energy FC’s big victory on Wednesday night in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup looked to have re-energized the side, with Alex Dixon and Miguel Gonzalez both having threatened before they combined for Dixon’s opening goal of the game. The margin of victory could have been wider if not for a solid display by Orange County’s Charlie Lyon, but Energy FC will be feeling very happy after its return to action at Taft Stadium.
2. Orange County hadn’t produced too much in the way off attacking threats in the opening 25 minutes, but once the side was reduced to 10 men as Oscar Sorto was sent off it never really regained a foothold in the game as Energy FC drove its advantage home. Orange County has now conceded five goals over two games since its memorable victory in its home opener against the LA Galaxy II. A return home in the club’s next outing will likely be very welcome as Head Coach Logan Pause’s side looks to get back on a winning track.
3. Energy FC’s victory came at a crucial time for the team as it looks to get itself back into the chase for the playoff positions after a slow start to the season. Saturday night’s game opened a stretch of four home games in its next five outings, with Wednesday night’s game with the Portland Timbers 2 the next hurdle for the side. A visit to Colorado Springs and home games against Phoenix Rising FC and San Antonio FC then loom large as OKC will try to produce the type of form they showed against Orange County consistently.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Alex Dixon, OKC Energy FC – Dixon had the only goal of the game, but was a threat throughout as he finished with four shots overall and created two scoring chances.
OKC Energy FC vs. Portland Timbers 2 – May 24, 8 p.m. ET, Taft Stadium
Orange County SC vs. Real Monarchs SLC – June 3, 8 p.m. ET, Orange County Great Park