Tulsa Roughnecks FC overcame a shaky 20-minute stretch Tuesday afternoon by scoring a pair of goals in the final 10 minutes to salvage a 3-3 draw with Miami Fusion FC in a preseason friendly played in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was the second match in 48 hour for the Roughnecks who now have one win and one draw in the two outings.
Tulsa has scored a total of 8 goals in its two games. After a five-goal outing on Sunday, the Roughnecks, came out on the attack against the Fusion. Kaleemullah appeared to open the scoring when he beat the keeper with a direct free kick in the 9th minute, but the goal was disallowed as an indirect free kick had been awarded.
The Roughnecks eventually opened the scoring in the 26th minute when Taylor Morgan found the back of the net. It was the first goal of the preseason for the former Toronto FC forward.
It would be the only goal of the first 45 minutes, but it did not take the Fusion long to strike in the second half. The NPSL side scored three times in the first 20 minutes of the half to forge a 3-1 lead.
With no immediate response, it appeared that the Roughnecks would be handed their first loss of the preseason. But 10 minutes from full time, Tulsa pulled a goal back when homegrown product Cristian Mata netted his first goal of the preseason to trim the deficit to 3-2.
In the 90th minute, Jasson Ramos Carpio rescued the Roughnecks. The young Guatemalan took a feed from Kaleem and beat the Fusion keeper to even the score at 3-3.
One minute later, Kaleem nearly produced a winner for Tulsa, but his header caromed off the post to keep the match level. Seconds later, the referee blew the final whistle on the entertaining draw.
The goal from Ramos Carpio continued his strong play, as he now has three preseason goals after tallying a pair in Sunday’s opening 5-1 win over Florida Gulf Coast University. For Kaleem, it was his second assist.The outing pleased Roughnecks Head Coach David Irving. “It was a good run out for us,” said Irving. “It was a good contest against a well-organized side with a good amount of fight. It is exactly what you want from a preseason match.”
“We showed a lot of character with the comeback,” he added. “Our young guys, Kaleem, Jasson and Cristian, looked very dangerous. We made several changes at the back at halftime to look at some of the boys we have on trial, and we continued to attack. They broke away to penalize us with the three goals.”
“In the end, it is not a great result, but I think we learned a lot about ourselves. It was a good exercise, and we suffered no injuries.”
The defense was short-handed for the match, as the Roughnecks were without the services of center back David Abidor. The Creighton University product suffered a slight injury in Sunday’s match, and is hopeful to return for the team’s next match.
Tulsa’s next outing will come quickly as the team will travel up Interstate 95 on Wednesday to continue training in Jacksonville, Florida. On Thursday, the Roughnecks will face the Jacksonville Armada of the NASL. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:30am CST.