Fabian Cerda dives to save the match-deciding penalty kick in Wednesday night's US Open Cup game. (Lori Scholl)
The Tulsa Roughnecks FC is headed to the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and a meeting with FC Dallas of Major League Soccer. The Roughnecks defeated San Antonio FC 7-6 on penalty kicks Wednesday night at the University of Tulsa’s Hurricane Soccer and Track Stadium in a matchup with the USL league leaders. The game moved to penalty kicks after the two teams battled to a scoreless draw for 120 minutes.
The star of the match was TRFC goalkeeper Fabian Cerda. Cerda not only saved the match-deciding penalty, he converted a PK of his own in the fifth round. His heroics sets up Tulsa’s first-ever meeting with a team from Major League Soccer.
Neither Cerda nor San Antonio keeper Diego Restrepo could be beaten during the 90 minutes of regulation play and the 30 minutes of extra time, setting up the thrilling finish. Restrepo extended his scoreless streak to 585 minutes with his performance for SAFC, who is undefeated in USL regular season play.
In the first two rounds of penalties, neither keeper could make a save as Joey Calistri and Juan Caffa converted for Tulsa, while Rafa Castillo and Victor Araujo were successful for San Antonio.
In the third round, Roughnecks substitute Pasha Kondrakhin was denied by the crossbar, to give San Antonio the advantage, and Devin Vega beat Cerda to make it 3-2.
After Ian Svantesson scored to make it 3-3, Cerda stopped Mark O’Ojong’s effort to keep it at 3-3 after four rounds.
The Tulsa keeper then stepped to the spot and buried his PK to put Tulsa in front 4-3.
The pressure intensified as the next five shooters were all successful, Aly Alberto Hassan, AJ Ajeakwa and Ben Newman for SAFC, and Modou Jadama and Collin Fernandez for TRFC.
In round eight, Francisco Ugarte scored to put the Roughnecks in front 7-6 and setting the stage for another keeper versus keeper battle. Restrepo’s shot for SAFC was saved by a diving Cerda to end the match and send Tulsa into the fourth round.
Cerda’s heroics set up a celebration as the goalkeeper was mobbed by his teammates and the TRFC fans.
Tulsa Head Coach David Vaudreuil was proud of his side as it wrapped up a busy month of May with its biggest win of the season.
Fabian Cerda is mobbed by his teammates and TRFC fans after his PK heroics. (Brooke Carroll)
“Two teams had a very good battle, and unfortunately someone has to lose on penalties,” said Vaudreuil. “I am very excited for our guys who get a chance to go play FC Dallas. It was our seventh game in the month of May, and we won five of them.”
“The thing that impressed me about Fabian was that he guessed right on all but one or two of the penalties,” Vaudreuil said. “It was quite a finish, make one and save one, and you are the hero.”
The matchup with FC Dallas will be played on Wednesday, June 14 on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The Roughnecks will attempt to secure a block of tickets TRFC fans to purchase for those wanting to make the trip to the Metroplex.
It is the furthest the Roughnecks have ever advanced in the Open Cup.
Tulsa will now enjoy ten days off before its next game, a regular season matchup in Kansas City with the Swope Park Rangers on Sunday, June 11. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00pm.
Lamar Hunt US Open Cup – Third Round
Tulsa Roughnecks 0 (7) San Antonio FC 0 (6) in penalties
May 31, 2017 – University of Tulsa Hurricane Soccer and Track Stadium
TRFC - Joey Calistri – Scored
SAFC - Rafa Castillo - Scored
TRFC - Juan Pablo Caffa – Scored
SAFC - Victor Araujo - Scored
TRFC - Pavel Kondrakhin – Missed (hit crossbar)
SAFC - Devin Vega - Scored
TRFC - Ian Svantesson – Scored
SAFC - Mark O’Ojong - Saved
TRFC - Fabian Cerda – Scored
SAFC - Aly Alberto Hassan – Scored
TRFC - Modou Jadama – Scored
SAFC - AJ Ajeakwa – Scored
TRFC - Collin Fernandez – Scored
SAFC - Ben Newnam – Scored
TRFC - Francisco Ugarte – Scored
SAFC - Diego Restrepo - Saved
SAFC – Shawn Chin (caution) 20’
TRFC – Bradley Bourgeois (caution) 46’
TRFC – Collin Fernandez (caution) 81’
SAFC – Ben Newnam (caution) 92’
SAFC – Devin Vega (caution) 120’
Tulsa Roughnecks FC: Fabian Cerda, Jorge Corrales, Modou Jadama, Bradley Bourgeois, Koskuke Kimura, Jaime Ayala (Brady Ballew 58’ Francisco Ugarte 114’), Collin Fernandez, Joey Calistri, Juan Caffa-©, Joaquin Rivas (Pasha Kondrakhin 101’), Ian Svantesson.
Shots: 13; Shots On-Goal: 3; Saves: 3; Fouls: 15; Corners: 4; Offsides: 2.
San Antonio FC: Diego Restrepo; Ben Newnam, Sebastien Ibeagha, Cyprian Hedrick, Greg Cochrane; Mark O’Ojong, Rafa Castillo (c), Maxi Rodriguez (Devin Vega 54’), Shawn Chin (Victor Araujo 82’), Billy Forbes (AJ Ajeakwa 68’); Aly Alberto Hassan.
Shots: 13; Shots On-Goal: 3; Saves: 3; Fouls: 13; Corners: 8; Offsides: 2.
The Roughnecks react to Cerda's final save. (Lori Scholl)