A good trip to the Pacific Northwest for the Tulsa Roughnecks FC got even better late Wednesday night in British Columbia. The Roughnecks closed out a three-game road swing with a 3-1 win over a young but talented Whitecaps FC 2 at McLeod Athletic Park.
The goals came from the usual suspects as Juan Pablo Caffa, Ian Svantesson and Joey Calistri found the back of the net. The three are the top goal scorers on the season for TRFC.
The victory allowed Tulsa to finish its three-game trip unbeaten with a 2-0-1 record. With the victory, Head Coach David Vaudreuil and the Roughnecks are now in fifth place in the USL’s Western Conference standings with 40 total points from a 12-10-4 record.
The Roughnecks opened Wednesday’s match in their familiar 4-2-3-1 formation with Svantesson up front and Stefan Cleveland making his second appearance in goal, on loan from the Chicago Fire.
Cleveland was called into action just five minutes into the game when he came out quickly to make a sliding stop after a bad turnover from the Roughnecks set up a break for WFC2.
A careless giveaway from Whitecaps FC 2 in the 13th minute nearly gifted the Roughnecks an early lead, but Svantesson was unable to put his shot on target.
It was WFC2 who looked the more dangerous side in the middle of the first half, with Cleveland making a pair of successive saves in the 27th minute, then coming out again to make a sliding stop on a breakaway chance a few minutes later.
The Roughnecks settled into the game and opened the scoring in the 39th minute courtesy of Caffa and Christian Thierjung. A combination of passes between the duo set up the chance, with Theirjung cutting the final pass into the box from the end line. The delivery was perfect for Caffa who chipped his shot past the keeper and into the net from six yards out to give TRFC the 1-0 lead.
WFC2 was unlucky to not get an equalizer just two minutes later when Brett Levis found space inside the box, but his shot caromed off the far post and was cleared from danger.
It took Whitecaps FC 2 just five minutes after the break to find the equalizer, and it came from the penalty spot. Francisco Ugarte was judged to have handled in the box, and Marco Bustos left Cleveland with no chance on the PK, blasting his effort into the corner of the net to level the score at 1-1.
The Roughnecks put the match away with an impressive offensive flurry just six minutes after the goal from WFC2. First, substitute Joey Calistri made an immediate impact just shortly after entering the match. Calistri delivered a cross from the right wing that Svantesson coolly placed into the net with the outside of his right foot to put Tulsa back in front.
It was the team-leading 11th goal of the season for Svantesson, but just his second away from ONEOK Field.
Sixty seconds later, super sub Calistri turned finisher. The Chicago Fire loanee beat his defender before cutting back at the top of the box and curving a right-footed shot into the far corner of the net to make it a 3-1 lead for the Roughnecks.
It was the eighth goal of the year for Calistri, matching him with Caffa for the second-most on the team.
The third and final goal was more than enough offense to allow TRFC to pick up the full three points and cap off the successful road trip.
The 12 wins for Tulsa are a franchise record as are the 40 points, topping the 11 wins and 39 points collected by the 2015 Roughnecks in the team’s inaugural season in USL.
The Roughnecks will now head home and have ten days to prepare for the regular season’s final edition of the Black Gold Derby. TRFC will travel to Oklahoma City on Sunday, September 17 to face the Energy at Taft Stadium. Kickoff in OKC is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.
The next home match for the Roughnecks will take place on Saturday, September 23 when they host LA Galaxy II at ONEOK Field.
Whitecaps FC 2 1 - Tulsa Roughnecks FC 3
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
McLeod Athletic Park – Langley, BC Canada
TUL – Caffa (Thierjung) ’39
VAN – Bustos (PK) 50’
TUL – Svantesson (Calistri) 61’
TUL – Calistri (Jadama) 62’
TUL – Svantesson (caution) 77’
VAN – de Vries 90’+3
Whitecaps FC 2: Sean Melvin, Brett Levis (Chris Serban 46’), Francis de Vries©, Cole Seiler, Matthew Baldisimo, Marco Bustos (Will Seymore 74’), David Norman Jr., Michael Baldisimo, Terran Campbell, Gloire Amanda (Thomas Sanner 83’), Kadin Chung.
Shots: 22; Shots on Goal: 7; Saves: 2; Fouls: 15; Corners: 8; Offside: 0.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC: Stefan Cleveland, Jorge Corrales, Modou Jadama, Francisco Ugarte, Jaime Ayala (Joey Calistri 55’), Bradley Bourgeois, Paris Gee, Joaquin Rivas, Juan Pablo Caffa© (Brady Ballew 80’), Christian Thierjung (Kosuke Kimura 65’), Ian Svantesson .
Shots: 8; Shots on Goal: 5; Saves: 5; Fouls: 18; Corners: 4; Offside: 1.
Goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland, on loan from the Chicago Fire, made five saves in Wednesday's victory. (B.Timko/Whitecaps FC 2)