Thomas Amang and Jack Blake score in Southern California rivalry match
IRVINE, Calif. (Oct. 1, 2022) – San Diego Loyal SC secured second place in the Western Conference with a 2-2 draw against Orange County SC Saturday night at Championship Soccer Stadium. Thomas Amang and Jack Blake helped earn the milestone against the Southern California rival in the Week 30 USL Championship match.
SD Loyal earned another point in the standings in front of a few busloads of fans who traveled to support their club. The draw added to SD Loyal’s historic season as it heads into the postseason for the second-consecutive year. Coach Landon Donovan’s team had already secured a home playoff match coming into Saturday but clinching second place in the conference was the next goal.
Against Orange County Saturday, SD Loyal (18W-9L, 5D, 62 points) opened up the scoring when Amang netted his 10th goal of the season. The Cameroonian striker fired a right-footed shot past Orange County goalkeeper Patrick Rakovsky off a delicious Blake pass between a pair of defenders to give SD Loyal a 1-0 lead.
The early lead lasted until Orange County (7W-13L-12D, 33 points) striker Milan Iloski found the net in the 44th minute. The USL Championship golden boot leader sent a right-footed volley into the lower corner of the net, beating SD Loyal goalkeeper Koke Vegas to tie the match 1-1.
The deadlock lasted until Blake smashed a free kick opportunity into the net in the 53rd minute for his third goal of the season to give SD Loyal a 2-1 lead. The Englishman bent a right-footed ball over the Orange County wall and into the net. It was Blake’s second free kick conversion of the season, coming from 20-yards out.
Orange County, who had been eliminated from playoff contention, pushed forward in the final minutes and found the equalizer with a Brian Iloski goal in the 90th minute.
Donovan’s team returns to Torero Stadium to prepare for its final home match of the regular season, and Fan Appreciation Day celebration, on Sunday, Oct. 9 (7 p.m.) against Western Conference rival New Mexico United. Tickets to Fan Appreciation Day as well as SD Loyal’s first-ever first-round playoff match taking place on a TBD date the weekend of Oct. 21-23 are on sale now at sdloyal.com/tickets.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
SD – Thomas Amang (Jack Blake), 14th minute: Amang blasted his shot from inside the penalty box after Blake fed him a through ball in between defenders. OC 0, SD 1
OC – Milan Iloski (Tony Rocha), 44th minute: Iloski tied the match with a right-footed volley into the lower right corner of the SD Loyal net. OC 1, SD 1
SD – Jack Blake, 53rd minute: Blake bent a right-footed free kick over Orange County defenders to take the lead. OC 1, SD 2
OC – Brian Iloski (Assister F L), 90th minute: Iloski sent a shot into the left side of the net, beating Koke Vegas on the play to tie the match. OC 2, SD 2
- Thomas Amang scored his 10th goal of the season.
- Jack Blake scored his third goal of the season, his second from a direct free kick.
- Jack Blake recorded his sixth assist of the season, his third in the last three matches.
- Jack Blake’s goal and assist combination was the second time he achieved the feat this season (also in SD Loyal’s 3-0 home win vs. Colorado Springs on July 18).
- SD Loyal has scored in 28 of its 32 games, more often than any other team this season.
Chosen Foods Man of the Match: Jack Blake