Entering this match there was that feeling where Orange County FC would have a tough task on their hands due to hosting a team that had yet to win a game this season, but SC Corinthians found things to be quite difficult as OCFC rolled to a 8-1 home win.
In the first half it was the Staforde Palmer and Connor Gordon show as both players each recorded two goals and one assist. Palmer struck first when he received a pass from Gordon in the fifth minute to give OCFC a 1-0 lead.
The Corinthians defense was all over the place and they weren’t able to make adjustments as Gordon doubled the lead to 2-0 four minutes later when he received a through ball from Alessandro Canale. Gordon added his second goal of the match in the 25th minute when he received a pass from Palmer after some nice ball movement.
The first half scoring continued ten minutes later when Palmer got a hold of a rebound off a Michael Bryant throw-in that was parried by keeper Henry Martinez. The English striker showed his finishing skills as he fired the ball into the roof of the net to make the score 4-0.
SC Corinthians didn’t know where to turn and they would not be saved by the bell as substitute Jose Montes connected on a clearance from keeper Brandon Gomez and fired the ball past Corinthians keeper Martinez in the 45th minute. A 5-0 lead at the half for OCFC was perfect and Gomez earned his second assist of the season.
OCFC head coach Paul Caligiuri already began making changes in the first half to give his starters a rest but his squad would continue to show their killer instinct.
“It is the OCFC way and what makes it unique is the depth on our bench,” said Caligiuri. “The players coming off the bench were hungry and they wanted to show what they could do.”
The I-5 Army and the OCFC supporters were expecting more goals but had to wait until the 77th minute to cheer again when Canale scored to make it 6-0 on a goal assisted by right back Alexander Ferreira. The U.S. National Beach Soccer Team player made a nice run down the right side of the field and finished it off with a left footed shot that went past second half keeper Rony Hernandez to earn his fourth goal of the season. Five minutes later Corinthians got a consolation goal from Hugo Polanco to cut the lead to 6-1.
But it only took two minutes for OCFC to strike back when left back Tristan Weber centered a cross from the left that deflected off Canale and was fired into the roof of the net by Montes for his second goal of the match. Playing with a 7-1 lead, OCFC continued to attack and off a short corner, Montes saw center back Kevin Belmonte pushing up and sent a pass to his unmarked teammate in the 88th minute. Belmonte placed a beautiful shot into the far upper corner to complete the dominant performance and give OCFC a comfortable 8-1 victory.
Once again the OCFC coaching staff had a tough decision to make with many players putting in quality performances but in the end it was Kevin Belmonte who earned Man of the Match honors by scoring his first goal of the season and playing excellent defense.
“Kevin is very calm on the ball with great touch,” said assistant coach Ernie Richau. “All of his
experience as a midfielder makes him a great center back. As you saw by his goal tonight it is easy for him not only to play in the back but be comfortable in a set piece.”
A good crowd was on hand at Portola High School to see another entertaining show put on by Orange County FC.
“We’ve played three thrilling games at home,” said Caligiuri. “I believe the OCFC fans are getting their money’s worth every time they come to watch a game here in Irvine.”
The OCFC supporters and the I-5 Army certainly would agree as they have had seventeen reasons to cheer from two wins and a draw at home.