Brian Iloski’s last minute heroics salvage a point for OCSC against SD Loyal

OCSC’s Brian Iloski scored in the final minutes of a 2-2 draw with the San Diego Loyal. Brian’s brother, Milan, also scored, making it the first time in USL history two brothers on the same team scored in the same game. Orange County Soccer Club | Courtesy

The Orange County Soccer Club secured a point after a tightly contested 2-2 draw against the San Diego Loyal SC at the Championship Stadium in the Irvine Great Park on Saturday, Oct. 1. It was OCSC’s final home game of the 2022 season, and both Iloski brothers, Milan and Brian, scored in the same match for OCSC.

It’s the first time ever in the USL’s league history that a pair of brothers on the same team scored in the same game, and just the fifth time since 2000 that it’s ever happened in professional soccer.

“They’re two very talented players and they’ve both been constants for us, with Brian just recently being available from injury,” said Richard Chaplow, the OCSC manager. “I think since Brian’s came back from injury, he’s had more tenacity in front of goal.”

OCSC was pressing San Diego hard in the visitor’s end, San Diego trying to find a lane of attack throughout the first ten minutes. OCSC goalkeeper Patrick Rakovsky made two huge back-to-back saves in the 11th minute, with one of the shots coming from forward Thomas Amang.

Just two minutes later, Amang was able to get his revenge on Rakovsky, blasting a shot into the right corner off of midfielder James Blake’s pass to give San Diego a 1-0 lead. The goal was Amang’s 14th goal of the season, tied for first on the team.

The match started to become more physical between the two southern California rivals, with the first of seven total yellow cards being handed out in the 29th minute.

OCSC were able to equalize right before the end of the first half, with forward Milan Iloski scoring his USL leading 22nd goal of the season on a curling shot from the top of the penalty box. 

Iloski’s 22nd goal brings him within two goals of the club’s all-time record of 24 goals, and three goals of the USL’s single season record of 25 with still two games remaining on the club’s schedule.

The second half started much like the first, with San Diego on the forefront early. San Diego was able to draw a free kick just outside the box, and James Blake capitalized with a stunning shot that dipped over the wall for a goal in the 53rd minute. 

Both clubs continued the physicality, with three more yellow cards being issued in the second half. OCSC picked up their attacking play toward the end of the second half. 

Much like the first, they were able to get a last-minute opportunity in the 89th minute. 18-year-old forward Korede Osudina played a perfect pass to Brian Iloski for a 1v1 chance with San Diego’s goalkeeper Koke Vegas. Iloski shot it right past Vargas to level the score at two and send OCSC fans into a frenzy.

“At halftime, we felt like everything we talked about prior to the game was working, we just had to execute a little bit more,” Chaplow said. “I’m obviously delighted we could get a goal towards the end even though it wasn’t the win that we hoped for.”

OCSC tried to secure all three points with a win by starting another attack with a few minutes left to play. Substitute Erick “Cubo” Torres had one more chance with a header in the box, but Vargas made a fantastic diving save to save the game for San Diego and secure a point.

San Diego Loyal SC, managed by United States soccer legend Landon Donovan, clinched second place in the western conference with Saturday’s result. They’ll start the USL playoffs at home for their first-ever playoff run in club history. 

Saturday’s match was fan appreciation night, and the OCSC players stayed after the game to sign autographs and take photos with their fans. The club will play the remaining two away games on their schedule as they wrap up their season currently sitting in 13th place. 

Their most important victory of the season may have just been off the pitch, with the city of Irvine recently announcing that OCSC will be staying at the Championship Stadium at the Irvine Great Park for the 2023 season.