IRVINE, CA (June 21, 2013)- The Orange County Blues withstood a second half onslaught to outlast the Chivas USA Reserves In front of 942 fans at Anteater Stadium.
On a very emotional night for retiring goalkeeper Mohammad Mohammadi, he watched from his goal-line as the Blues raced out to a 1-0 lead after just five minutes. Jimmy Turner sent a long diagonal ball for Allan Russell. The Blues’ captain flicked the ball back across goal where Chris Cortez was on hand to stab it into an empty net.
Chivas USA looked for a response, but an inspired Mohammadi, playing his final 45 minutes of a 19-year-career made three sensational saves.
The former Iranian international’s stellar goalkeeping allowed the Blues to extend their lead in the 31st minute. Goats’ center-back Michael Nwiloh passed the ball back to his keeper, Tim Melia. Russell charged Melia down and blocked his clearance straight into the far post.
Mohammadi ended his career with a clean sheet as he departed at halftime where he was honored with a special ceremony.
Chivas USA pressed hard in the second half but Patrick McLain picked up where Mohammadi left off, with a flying save on a shot from distance and another solid save on a well taken free kick by Mauro Rosales.
Earlier, the Blues had escaped as Marco Delgado smashed one off the near post with McLain beaten.
The former Chivas USA goalkeeper could do nothing about Ryan Finley’s powerful curling effort from 22-yards out, however, as Chivas USA halved the deficit in the 68th minute.
The Goats pressed for the equalizer, but the Blues were able to see out the match, giving Mohammadi the perfect send off, while leapfrogging the Wilmington Hammerheads into 6th place in the process.
The Blues improved to 7-8 on the season and will look to get to .500 when they travel to Peoria to face Arizona United next Saturday.
You may watch the game against Arizona United SC YouTube channel (youtube.com/ArizonaUnitedSoccer).
Orange County’s next home match is July 12, once again against Arizona United SC. We will celebrate “Give Back Night”. If you know someone who has been involved in your community, you may nominate them by emailing their story to email@example.com.
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