IRVINE, Ca. – Saint Louis FC fell 4-0 to Orange County SC in front of 3,360 fans at Champions Soccer Stadium in the First Round of the USL Cup Playoffs.
Orange County SC opened the scoring in the 11thminute through Michael Seaton who would go on to score a hat-trick with his next goals in the 29thand 64thminutes. Saint Louis FC would play a majority of the game with 10-men when Tony Walls was sent off with a contentious straight red card in the 20thminute and former STLFC player Mats Bjurman would add the fourth in the 66thminute to advance to the Second Round of the USL Cup Playoffs against Reno 1868 FC.
The first half would see Saint Louis FC create the first chance in the 5thminute as Austin Martz crossed to the back post and Albert Dikwa had his header sail just wide. Orange County would respond in the 11thminute with a breakaway chance and team-leading scorer Thomas Enevoldsen would lay it off to Seaton for a finish underneath STLFC goalkeeper Tomas Gomez. The game would then change in the 20thminute as Walls was shown a straight red card for unsportsmanlike behavior and Orange County would capitalize in the 29thminute as Seaton scored his second with a header over Gomez who came out to punch the cross and missed. Gomez would make a number of saves to keep the away side in the game and the final chance of the first half fell to Lewis Hilton but his shot from outside the box sailed over the crossbar.
The second half would see more of the same as Orange County SC added to their tally as Seaton sealed his hat-trick with a close-range finish after a cross in the box in the 64thminute. Bjurman would score the fourth goal in the 66thminute with a curling effort past Gomez and Orange County would see out the win to see the game finish 4-0.
“Handing them two early goals on a plate like we did and then playing with 10 men for so long was always going to be tough,” said STLFC Head Coach Anthony Pulis. “However, I’m really proud of the players for the body of work they’ve put in this year. They’re a fantastic group of men and it’s been a pleasure coaching them. Moving forward, I’m extremely driven to improve this team and push on, which means a period of reflection and then a lot of hard work this off-season to make sure we get the pieces we need to enable us to get better for 2019.”