The Tulsa Roughnecks strong run of play in the 2017 preseason continued Saturday night with an impressive 3-0 victory over Saint Louis FC. The Roughnecks used a barrage of three first-half goals to secure the victory in the match that was played at Hermann Stadium on the campus of St. Louis University.
Photos provided by Lori Scholl
The victory kept TRFC unbeaten in the preseason with a 3-0-1 record.
Tulsa opened the scoring in Saturday’s match in downtown St. Louis in the 21st minute. Ian Svantesson took a feed from Juan Caffa and beat STL keeper Devala Gorrick to make it 1-0.
The Roughnecks doubled their lead in the 33rd minute on a wonder goal from left back Jorge Corrales. The former Cuban international beat Gorrick on a shot from 40 yards to make it 2-0. The blast from Corrales struck the underside of the crossbar before settling into the back of the net in the most impressive goal of the preseason for TRFC.
Tulsa completed the enjoyable first half with a third goal in the 43rd minute as Svantesson and Caffa exchanged roles. Svantesson’s cross found Caffa in front of goal as the former La Liga forward slotted home his shot to up the lead to 3-0.
The pace of the second half slowed considerably for the two teams, as neither side produced a dangerous threat on goal until Saint Louis threatened late in the match. A header off a corner went just over the crossbar and a shot from former OKC Energy midfielder Sebastian Dalgaard went just wide seconds before the final whistle.
Tulsa goalkeeper Bryan Byars recorded his second clean sheet of the preseason. The Oklahoma native has surrendered only two goals in four matches.
The only negative of the night came with Corrales who left the match early in the second half with an injury. Athletic trainer Koby Smith described the injury as minor and said that Corrales will be evaluated upon the return to Tulsa.
For the first time, the Roughnecks featured three players in the match from their new Major League Soccer affiliate, the Chicago Fire. Collin Fernandez and Joey Calistri both started for TRFC. Calistri logged 65 minutes of action while Fernandez totaled 75 minutes. A third Fire player, Mataj Dekovic, came on as a late sub for head coach David Vaudreuil.
Vaudreuil was pleased with his squad’s effort on Saturday. “The first 20 minutes, we were unable to control the midfield, but we were very dangerous on the counterattack,” he said. “The fitness and the mentality to move off the ball and to get forward were great. On the other side, we always have the stated goal to not give up any goals, and our defense tonight was very good in front of Byars, who deserved the shutout.”
Tulsa will close out the preseason Tuesday with a behind closed doors meeting with Oklahoma Wesleyan University at ONEOK Field. The Roughnecks will open the USL regular season next Saturday, March 25, by hosting Colorado Springs.
Kosuke Kimura & Jaoquin Rivas in action Saturday (Lori Scholl)