Jorge Corrales celebrates his first-half goal. (Matt Christensen)
The Tulsa Roughnecks FC bounced back from a disappointing loss last weekend with a 2-1 victory over Saint Louis FC Thursday night at ONEOK Field. The Roughnecks got a first-half wonder goal from Jorge Corrales and a second-half strike from Joey Calistri to record the victory.
The result improved Tulsa’s record to 9-9-2 and its point total to 29, good for seventh spot in the USL’s Western Conference. Saint Louis FC fell to 6-5-9 with 23 points in the East.
It was not all good news for the Roughnecks on the night. Captain Juan Caffa suffered an apparent leg injury in the 16th minute of the match and was subbed off. His status for the Saturday’s Black Gold Derby is unknown.
The Roughnecks began the match with a different lineup than has been used this season. Jaime Ayala filled in at right back for the injured Kosuke Kimura, while Brandt Bronico started in a defensive midfield slot. Christian Thierjung made his second start, and Brian Wright, making his second appearance for TRFC this season, started up front, giving leading goal scorer Ian Svantesson a night off.
With the new starting eleven, TRFC nearly took a lead just two minutes into the match when Thierjung got behind the backline, but from a tough angle, he hit the side netting with his shot.
A brilliant effort from Corrales opened the scoring in the 26th minute. With the Roughnecks on the attack, a clearance rolled outside the penalty area. An on-rushing Corrales struck a left-footed blast from five yards outside the area that beat Saint Louis goalkeeper Devala Gorrick to make it 1-0.
Saint Louis coach Preki made two changes to open the second half, but it was Tulsa who started on the attack. Less than 60 seconds after the restart, Thierjung had a chance to double the lead, but his volley went over the crossbar.
The second goal finally came in the 70th minute. A pair of STL defenders failed to take the ball away from Wright as he attacked down the right side. When the big forward entered the penalty area, he unselfishly laid a pass off for Calistri about 15 yards from goal. Calistri turned his defender around and struck a left-footed shot into the net for his sixth goal of the season, tied for second-most on the team.
Brian Wright, on loan from the New England Revolution, made his first start for TRFC. (Rich Crimi)
An unfortunate deflection made things interesting in the final minutes. A cross from left of the goal deflected off Mo Jadama and past TRFC goalkeeper Fabian Cerda to pull Saint Louis to within 2-1.
STLFC nearly got a second goal four minutes into stoppage time as the last shot of the match was saved off the line by Bronico and the rebound rolled directly to Cerda as TRFC survived the danger. Seconds later, the referee blew the final whistle.
“I was very pleased with the way we played, but they made it really crazy for us at the end,” said Roughnecks Head Coach David Vaudreuil.
The Roughnecks will have little time to enjoy the result as the second edition of the Black Gold Derby looms on Saturday when the Oklahoma City Energy makes its only visit to Tulsa this season.
Vaudreuil is well aware of what lies ahead.
“We now go into Saturday with the right mentality against Oklahoma City,” he said. “OKC has been playing very well, and we expect them to come here with confidence. We have to come out and play our very best, but I expect us to go out and put some goals on the board.”
Earlier this year, Tulsa recorded a 2-1 victory in OKC. Three important points will be up for grabs as the two teams occupy the seventh and eighth places in the Western Conference table.
Saturday’s match will kick off at 7:30 p.m. at ONEOK Field, and tickets are available by clicking HERE.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC 2 Saint Louis FC 1
Thursday, August 10, 2017
ONEOK Field – Tulsa, OK
TUL – Jorge Corrales 25’
TUL – Joey Calistri (Brian Wright)
STL – Own Goal (Jadama) 86’
STL - Mirkovic (caution) 30’
TUL – Bronico (caution) 77’
Tulsa Roughnecks FC: Fabian Cerda, Jorge Corrales (Aaron Guillen 71’), Modou Jadama, Bradley Bourgeois, Jaime Ayala, Collin Fernandez (Jacori Hayes 60’), Brandt Bronico, Joaquin Rivas, Juan Pablo Caffa © (Joey Calistri 18’), Christian Thierjung, Brian Wright.
Shots: 19; Shots On-Goal: 5; Saves: 5; Fouls: 12; Corners: 7; Offsides: 1.
Saint Louis FC: Devala Gorrick, Emir Alihodzic, A.J. Cochran, Tony Walls, Ryan Howe, Max Alvarez (Seth Rudolph 66’), Ivan Mirkovic© (Tyler David 46’), Dragan Stojkov, Mats Bjurman (Octavio Guzman 46’), Emmanuel Appiah, Christian Volesky.
Shots: 10; Shots On-Goal: 6; Saves: 3; Fouls: 12; Corners: 9; Offsides: 1.
Collin Fernandez during Thursday's 2-1 win over Saint Louis. (Rich Crimi)