The Tulsa Roughnecks FC suffered its second loss of the season to Sacramento Saturday night, falling 3-2 to the Republic FC in California. The loss evened TRFC’s USL regular season record at 4-4-0. Sacramento ended a six-match winless streak with the victory.
The match started perfectly for Tulsa. In only the 8th minute, Juan Caffa was set free down the left wing, and his cross found Joey Calistri at the back post. Calistri settled and drilled a left-footed shot into the back of the net to give the Roughnecks the quick 1-0 lead. It was the fourth goal of the season for Calistri.
The Roughnecks held the lead for 20 minutes before the Republic FC found an equalizer. TRFC’s backline was spread and the ball went to Danny Barrera, just inside the penalty area. Barrera’s shot deflected off a Tulsa defender and past goalkeeper Fabian Cerda to level the score at 1-1.
It took Sacramento only three minutes to find a second goal, and it was a familiar face that did the damage. Former Roughnecks striker Sammy Ochoa was left in space in front of goal, and he headed in a cross to give the Republic a 2-1 lead.
Sacramento held its one-goal lead to well into the second half, before the Roughnecks found an equalizer, and it came from the penalty spot. A Republic FC defender was judged to have handled a cross in the penalty area in the 66th minute, setting the stage for Caffa to level the score. Goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek guessed correctly on the spot kick, but the Tulsa captain was able to slot his shot under the keeper to make it 2-2. The penalty conversion gave Caffa three goals in his last three regular season matches.
The lead would not last as the TRFC backline was victimized again in the 74th minute. The Republic was given a corner kick, and Barrera’s cross went to a wide open Chris Christian at the back post. The defender headed the cross into the far side of the net to put Sacramento back in front 3-2.
The Roughnecks would press forward looking for an equalizer, but it would not come. Their best opportunity to get something from the match came in the 81st minute when Rivas found space in the penalty area, but his left-footed shot went over the crossbar.
The loss was the second this season against Sacramento for the Roughnecks. On April 8, they fell 2-1 at ONEOK Field. The Roughnecks have yet to beat the Republic in five all-time meetings.
TRFC will remain in the Pacific Time Zone and will face Reno 1868 FC on Wednesday night in Nevada. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two sides with kickoff scheduled for 9:30 CDT in Reno.
Bradley Bourgeois battles for possession in Saturday's loss in Sacramento. (Photo by Douglas E. Castillo)