Las Vegas, NV – The Las Vegas Lights, winless in their last 3 games played, heading into Saturday’s matchup at Cashman Field played well enough to earn a win against the visiting Orange County Soccer Club, but unfortunately due to a number of dubious calls by the game officials, were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw in front of 6,801 of their home fans at Cashman Field.
The home team Lights FC entered the game trailing the visitors Orange County Soccer Club by 3 points, as they were sitting at 15 points off of four wins on the season, after Saturday’s result, they are still undefeated at Cashman, although they certainly would have liked to have gotten three points out of the matchup, as opposed to just one for the tie.
After coming out of the gates strong to kick-off the season, the Lights offense has struggled mightily as of late, demonstrated by their inability to score goals in three of their last five games.
In the game’s 25th minute, the Lights built up to a beautiful opportunity in the box right in front of the Orange County goal but were undone by a couple of harder-than necessary touches.
Ten minutes later, in the 35th minute, the Lights were threatening, but Pablo Cruz’s corner kick was cleared before a shot could be attempted. After a stoppage in play in order for Lights FC training staff to tend to Junior Sandoval, Mobi Fehr was unable to control Cruz’s corner kick.
A mere moment later, Irvin Parra brought the crowd to their feet when he beautifully maneuvered his way through the aggressive Orange County defense, before calmly placing the ball just past Orange County goalkeeper Patrick McClain to give the Lights the 1-nil lead.
Javan Torre was issued a yellow card on a dubious call in the 43 minute, and on the ensuing free kick, the ball was headed just over the Las Vegas goal. In the 46th minute, Joe Amico of Orange County was shown a straight red card for an aggressive act, as he appeared to have headbutted Parra. Amico’s teammate Michael Seaton was fortunate to not be shown the exit as well after he demonstrated his displeasure with a foul call and tossed the ball 15 yards down the pitch in the 45+4 of the first half. The home team went into the half with a 1-0 lead, due mainly to having outshot their opposition 5-2; and despite not having the advantage in possession.
OC’s Danny Cristostomo found the back of the Vegas goal on a nice volley off of an OC free kick, but the goal was waved off as he was flagged for being offside.
In the 70th minute, Brazilian Leonardo snuck through the Las Vegas backline and netted the equalizer for OCSC.
Preston actually scored the go-ahead goal for the Lights in the minute, but after a long conference amongst the game officials, the goal was inexplicably disallowed after it was erroneously determined that Preston was offside. This was proof-positive that the Championship League office should at least consider utilizing Video Review on certain calls.
The Lights will return to the Cashman Field pitch on Saturday June 15th, when they take on New Mexico United FC.
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