The Tulsa Roughnecks suffered their second straight home loss Saturday, falling to the Real Monarchs 1-0 after playing the final half hour with only 10 men. Tulsa forward Sammy Ochoa was shown a straight red card in 57th minute for a shoving incident. Less than 10 minutes later, Maikon Orellana scored the only goal of the match to give the Monarchs the win.
The loss leaves Tulsa with three points on the season with a 1-2-0 record. The win for the Monarchs improved their point total to seven with a 2-0-1 mark.
The sending off occurred after the Roughnecks had a corner kick. On the cross, defender Mason Grimes collided with Real goalkeeper Eduardo Fernandez. The Monarchs defenders took exception to the foul, shoving Grimes away. Ochoa, the Tulsa captain, came to Grimes’ defense and traded shoves with a Monarchs’ player. After the two teams were separated, referee Sorin Stoica singled out Ochoa for a straight red card, leaving Tulsa with only 10 men.
It was the first straight red ever given to a Roughnecks player in USL play, and the controversial sending off played a key role in determining the outcome of the match.
Photos by Rich Crimi
Prior to Ochoa's questionable red card, the Roughnecks had played some of their best and most aggressive football of the season. That changed after with the ejection.
The Monarchs controlled possession with the man advantage, and it paid off quickly when Orellana produced his third goal of the season in the 66th minute. A deflection went straight to Orellana who was unmarked to Mangels’ right, and the forward slotted the ball into the back of the net to give RSL a 1-0 lead.
After the goal, the Roughnecks brought on Kaleem and Jasson Ramos Carpio to try and find an equalizer, but it was Grimes pushing forward on set pieces who came the closest to finding a goal. A sliding shot from the Guam International in the 75th minute went wide as did a curving shot from the top of the box in the 88th minute.
The first half produced an attractive 45 minutes, but no goals. Ochoa found the net twice, but was in an offside position both times.
Mangels made an impressive one-handed save on Alec Sundley in the 16th minute before Iarfhlaith Davoren nearly put Tulsa in front 10 minutes later. A free kick from Adriano Pellegrino found Taylor Morgan at the back post. Morgan headed the ball back in front of goal to an on-rushing David Abidor. His ensuing header was on target, but Fernandez made a diving save to rob the Irish defender.
Despite the setback, Davoren said the team can take some good things from the match.
“The first half was the most intensity we have played with this season,” he said. “We are sick of letting teams have possession here at home, so we tried to not let them have a second on the ball. The game plan worked brilliant in the first half, and in the second half, it felt like there was a goal coming. But, once you go down to ten men, it is always going to be hard.”
Grimes shared Davoren’s frustration. “We had chances in the first half and the luck didn’t go our way. We have got to learn from this and keep working hard.”
The Roughnecks will now carry a two-match losing streak into their first road match of the season. TRFC will travel to St. Louis on Saturday for the first of four meetings this season with Saint Louis FC.
Tulsa will be without the services of Ochoa, who must serve a mandatory one-game suspension with the red card.
Kickoff on Saturday in St. Louis is scheduled for 7:30pm. The match will be broadcast live on the radio in Tulsa on AM 1300 The Buzz. The video of the match will be streamed live through the USL Match Center on YouTube.
The Roughnecks next action at ONEOK Field will be on Saturday, April 23 when they host the Portland Timbers 2.