Composed by OCFC Writing Staff
In the Saturday afternoon Indiana heat, Oakland County FC earned a season-changing 1-0 win. The victory was a defensive grind against the South Bend Lions, and brought OCFC above the .500 mark. The result also puts County into the top half of the division at the halfway mark of the season. OCFC remains undefeated on the road and now looks to Friday’s return home to Clawson Stadium, at 7 PM, where they will take on the Dayton Dutch Lions.
— Oakland County FC (@OaklandCountyFC) June 13, 2021
The beginning of Saturday’s match was a very even affair, both sides feeling each other out while trying to conserve energy in the sun. The hosts threatened as they pressed the County backline, trying to force turnovers. Prior to a hydration break in the thirtieth minute, OCFC began to get shots toward the net, compiling three scoring opportunities while holding South Bend in check defensively. While County managed to get another scoring chance, they couldn’t find the back of the net before halftime.
In the second half, both teams came in knowing the pressure of the game, and it showed through periods of very physical play. The physicality soon became a major talking point, when in the 50th minute, South Bend’s Dejue Johnson received a red card for a rash two footed challenge. Despite their disadvantage, South Bend continued their relentless pursuit of a goal. The hosts created many chances, and tallied 19 shots. The Lions effort didn’t go unnoticed, but it was matched by County keeper, Max Loria, who recorded ten saves on the night to keep the clean sheet.
Following a number substitutions and some close calls, the Men In Purple began to change the tide of the game. In the 80th minute, an OCFC counter-attack led to a second South Bend red card. This time it was for Jonny Mora, who took down OCFC’s Mike Melaragni on an open breakaway. As a result, South Bend was restricted to just nine men for the closing moments of the match. The disadvantage would prove to be fatal at the death, as County’s “Man of the Match”, Chase Inscho, buried a header from an 89th minute corner.
📊 We’ve hit the halfway point of our inaugural @USLLeagueTwo campaign. After this weekend’s positive results, we’re right in the trenches of the playoff push. ✊
— Oakland County FC (@OaklandCountyFC) June 14, 2021