The first-ever trip to Kansas City for the Tulsa Roughnecks ended in a 2-1 loss to the Swope Park Rangers Saturday night. Swope Park’s Tyler Pasher scored two second-half goals to offset another goal from Roughnecks’ captain Sammy Ochoa as the Rangers recorded their second win this season over TRFC.
Match Photo by Nick Smith
The loss came in the fourth straight away match for the Roughnecks and left them with 7 points through nine game this season with a 2-6-1 record. The Rangers improved to 10 points with the win with a 3-3-1 record.
Neither team found a goal in the first 45 minutes, but both had chances. After a slow first 20 minutes, SPR’s Daniel Salloi asked the first question of one of the goalkeepers with a blast from 25 yards, but Tulsa’s Jake Feener answered with a tip over the bar.
Less than 60 seconds later, Matt Whatley set up an unmarked Kyle MacLeod at the other end with a looping pass into the box. The Roughnecks midfielder chested down the delivery, but he shot over the crossbar to keep the match scoreless.
Tulsa continued to look threatening before the Rangers took charge of the final five minutes of the half. Pasher failed to put two good chances on frame, and Kris Tyrpak headed a cross wide of Feener’s goal.
It took only three minutes into the second half for Swope Park to find the net. In the 48th minute, Tulsa’s backline was caught pushing forward and Pasher made them pay. He slipped behind the Roughnecks defenders and ran onto a pass from Daniel Salloi. Feener elected to rush off his line and was easily beaten by a chip from Pasher that gave the Rangers the 1-0 lead.
Swope Park nearly doubled its lead in the 68th minute. Defender Amer Didic headed a corner kick on goal, but Henri cleared off the line to keep TRFC’s deficit at one goal.
The Roughnecks found an equalizer in the 79th minute, courtesy of the in-form Ochoa. The reigning USL Player of the Week blasted a right-footed shot past former Roughnecks keeper Zac Lubin to level the score at 1-1. It was the fifth goal of the season for Ochoa, all of them coming in the past three matches.
The euphoria lasted less than three minutes as Salloi was left in space at the edge of the box. His initial shot was saved by Feener, but the Tulsa keeper left an easy rebound for Pasher who slotted it into the goal to put the Rangers back in front.
The Roughnecks pushed forward trying to find a second equalizer, and it nearly came in stoppage time. Ochoa sent in a cross from the left side that found defender Anthony Peters, who beat his defender and headed a low shot on goal. It was too close to Lubin though, who made a left-footed save to preserve the win for the Rangers.
It was the second 2-1 loss to Swope Park this season for the Roughnecks. The Rangers also recorded a 2-1 win at ONEOK Field on April 2. The two teams are scheduled to meet two more times this season.
TRFC will be back in action Wednesday night with a second round match in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Roughnecks will play in Iowa against the Des Moines Menace, a PDL side.
Tulsa will return home and back to USL regular season play next Saturday, May 21. The Roughnecks will host Saint Louis F.C. at ONEOK Field with a 7:00pm kickoff.