Captain Sammy Ochoa singlehandedly made sure that the Tulsa Roughnecks winless streak ended Sunday night, producing his second straight brace to lead the Roughnecks to a 2-1 win over Seattle Sounders 2 at Seattle’s Starfire Stadium. The victory was the first for the Roughnecks since a season-opening win over Rio Grande Valley.
The win did not come easily as the Roughnecks had to survive six yellow cards and eight minutes of stoppage time to record the much needed victory.
The match started very similar to Wednesday’s loss in Vancouver with Ochoa, a former striker for the Seattle Sounders in MLS, staking TRFC to an early lead. Only eight minutes into the match, he got behind his defender and dribbled into the box before beating Sounders 2 goalkeeper Tyler Miller with a left-footed shot just inside the far post.
Tulsa would not hold the lead long. In the 18th minute, a Sounders free kick deflected near Oalex Anderson inside the 8-yard box. Anderson, who has made seven appearances for the MLS Sounders this season, beautifully finished with a scissor-kick effort that left goalkeeper Jake Feener with no chance.
It would take Ochoa just over a quarter of an hour to put his side back in front. In the 35th minute, the Tulsa forward intercepted a poor back pass near the halfway line. Behind the defense, Ochoa raced into the penalty area and dribbled around Miller before calmly finishing for his second goal of the match.
It was his team-leading fourth goal of the season, with all four coming in the past two matches. The four goals equal the entire total that the Roughnecks scored in their first six matches of the season.
Photo right by Charis Wilson
From there, it was a question of whether the Roughnecks and Feener could protect the 2-1 lead.
Sounders 2 opened the second half on the attack. The first dangerous chance came in the 54th minute when Victor Mansaray blasted a shot from the 18-yard line, but Feener deflected it over the crossbar.
Substitute Darwin Jones found himself unmarked in the box in the 71st minute, but he fired his effort high over the goal.
The next near miss for the Roughnecks came just before the 90 minute mark when Sounders 2 appealed for a handball call against Kaleem inside the box. The referee waved off the appeals as TRFC continued to hang on.
The fourth official called for five minutes of stoppage time, but it turned into eight as injuries and delays forced the referee to add more time.
Substitutes Taylor Morgan and Brady Ballew were able to keep possession through much of the last couple of minutes before the final whistle sounded for the relieved Roughnecks.
The win improves TRFC’s point total to seven with a 2-5-1 record.
Tulsa is now a perfect 3-0 in three meetings all-time with Sounders 2,
The Roughnecks will travel back to Tulsa on Monday. They will continue their four-game road swing next Saturday with their first-ever trip to Kansas City to face the Swope Park Rangers, the USL side for Sporting KC. The Rangers beat Tulsa 2-1 at ONEOK Field on April 2.
Kickoff is slated for 7:30pm in Kansas City.