Playing their second game in three nights, the Tulsa Roughnecks FC fell behind by two late goals in the second half, then nearly rallied at the end before ultimately succumbing to San Antonio FC, 2-1, Sunday night in front of 3,427 at ONEOK Field.
Match Photos by Rich Crimi
Wearing their alternate, throwback red kits, the Roughnecks (3-11-2) were unable to build off the momentum of a 3-2 triumph on Friday night, although a late goal by Jasson Ramos Carpio gave them a chance to tie it in stoppage time.
“I can’t knock the guys, they gave me 110 percent and sometimes it’s not meant to be,” said Roughnecks coach David Irving. “I thought we deserved to get something out of the game. It’s tough playing back to back games like that, two games in three days, but credit to them, they worked hard but just came up a little short. Disappointing, but we got to keep going, keep the spirits up and keep playing.”
San Antonio (5-5-5) won its third straight contest and its second this season over Tulsa, also defeating the Roughnecks 3-1 in Texas back on April 30.
The match was delayed by just over an hour due to rain and lightning. Following a scoreless first half, Tulsa conceded a goal in the 56th minute, then gave up a second in the 80th before Ramos Carpio got one back just after the 90-minute mark.
The Roughnecks actually had a prime opportunity just before the final whistle, as Ramos Carpio launched a corner kick into the middle of the goalie box, but the ball bounced past several Roughnecks and just wide of the far post.
“We had our chance at the end,” said Tulsa’s leading scorer, Sammy Ochoa. “Two mistakes in the game cost us at the end. We just got to keep going forward and hopefully we pick it up next week.”
The best scoring chance for either side in the first half came just seconds before the whistle when a 40-yard free kick by Carlos Martinez found David Abidor about five yards out from the left goalpost, but Abidor’s header was stopped by San Antonio goalkeeper Josh Ford.
San Antonio got on the scoreboard in the 56th minute on a goal by Michael Reed, his second of the season. Rafa Castillo took a free kick from about 45 yards, finding Reed about 15 yards out for a header that beat Tulsa goalkeeper Alex Mangels.
Mangels prevented San Antonio from going up by two just three minutes later, as he made a difficult, lunging save on a Frank Tayou’s spin-around 15-yard blast.
San Antonio made it 2-0 in the 80th minute on beautiful goal by Tayou, his second of the year. After chasing down a nice lead pass from Carlos Alvarez, Tayou charged into the penalty area and chipped a 7-yard shot over the sliding Mangels into the upper right corner.
“That killed us,” Irving said of the second San Antonio goal. “We were in the game, and that one really killed us.”
The Roughnecks got one back just after stoppage time started. A shot from 20 yards out by Matt LaGrassa deflected off a San Antonio defender and ended up bouncing past the diving Ford and ricocheting off the right goal post. The ball then bounced right to Ramos Carpio, who deposited it from 5 yards out into the open left side of the net. It was the third goal of the season for Ramos Carpio, who had just entered the match as a substitute four minutes earlier.
That made things a bit more interesting during the remainder of the three minutes of extra time as Tulsa pressed for the equalizer, culminating in the near-miss on the corner kick at the end.
“We had a chance right at the end there, but that’s the way it’s been going,” Irving said. “We had a little bit of luck, got back into it, but that’s football. Very disappointing, it would have been nice to get some points tonight and keep climbing up the league, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
Tulsa will face Rio Grande Valley on the road next Sunday, and unfortunately, will be without the services of leading scorer Ochoa, who received a yellow card in the 62nd minute. That was the Tulsa captain’s fifth yellow of the season, triggering an automatic one-game suspension for the next match.
“I got to miss a game, and it’s hard, because on the road, they could use all the help they can get,” said Ochoa, who ranks fifth in the United Soccer League with eight goals and is tied for first with five assists. “Now I have to sit out and watch it from home. Hopefully we’ll get a good result down there.”