The Roughnecks celebrate their first goal of the night in Saturday's 2-0 win over the Real Monarchs. (Lori Scholl)
Tulsa Roughnecks FC accomplished something Saturday night that only one other USL team has been able to do this season – beat Real Monarchs SLC. The Roughnecks got second-half goals from Joaquin Rivas and Ian Svantesson to record a 2-0 victory at ONEOK Field. The win snapped a 10-match unbeaten streak for the league-leading Monarchs.
Front page photo of Fabian Cerda by Lori Scholl
The Roughnecks opened the match with only two changes to the lineup that lost 2-1 to Swope Park Tuesday night. Midfielder Jacori Hayes, who joined TRFC on loan from FC Dallas of Major League Soccer, was inserted into the lineup and Bradley Bourgeois dropped to a center back position to replace the suspended Francisco Ugarte. In addition, Joaquin Rivas returned to his starting role in midfield.
The match began with an entertaining first 45 minutes, but no goals. Both sides had chances, but the goalkeepers kept the match scoreless. TRFC keeper Fabian Cerda denied a point-blank header from Chandler Hoffman in the 14th minute before stopping Daniel Haber twice in a stretch of 60 seconds in the 30th minute.
After the break, the Roughnecks wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard. Just two minutes after the restart, Joey Calistri was led into space on the right side of the penalty area. Calistri delivered a perfect cross in front of goal that was tapped into the net by Rivas to put the Roughnecks in front.
Tulsa added the all-important second goal in the 79th minute. After a foul was called approximately 35 yards from goal, Juan Pablo Caffa delivered a cross into the box to Ian Svantesson. The big striker beat Monarchs keeper Eduardo Fernandez with a header into the lower corner of the net. The team-leading sixth goal of the season for Svantesson doubled TRFC’s lead at 2-0.
From there, the Roughnecks and Cerda were able to close out the game and post their fourth clean sheet of the season. It was also Tulsa’s fourth win in its past five home matches, but its first shutout since a 4-0 win over Orange County on May 13.
TRFC's starting lineup for Saturday's important victory. (Brooke Carroll)
The result and performance pleased Tulsa Head Coach David Vaudreuil.
“A very good performance and we played some real good soccer against a very good team,” said Vaudreuil. “We got a clean sheet, and we haven’t had one in a long time. I am not happy that we had to rely on Fabian to make a couple of big saves, but we did work very hard on defense.”
“To get away with a shutout is the most important thing,” added Vaudreuil. “We are not going to go anywhere up the table if we keep giving up one or two goals a game. We have to commit all the time, and I thought tonight was a big step in that direction.”
Defender Modou Jadama echoed Vaudreuil’s thoughts. “We have had a couple of rough games, and tonight the most important thing was getting a win and the shutout,” said Jadama. “Everyone on the team got their head in and was very focused. We got the two goals and the big saves from Fabian in order to get the win.”
TRFC improved its point total to 18 with the win and moved into the eighth and final playoff spot in the USL’s Western Conference.
Despite the defeat, the Monarchs remain atop the Western Conference standings with 37 points and a 12-2-1 record. Their only other loss this season occurred at Colorado Springs over two months ago on April 15.
The Roughnecks now have a week to prepare for the first edition of this year’s Black Gold Derby. Tulsa will travel down Interstate 44 next Saturday, July 8, to face the Oklahoma City Energy. Kickoff at OKC’s Taft Stadium is scheduled for 7:30PM.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC 2 Real Monarchs SLC 0
Tuesday, July 1, 2017
ONEOK Field – Tulsa, OK
TUL – Rivas (Calistri) 47’
TUL – Svantesson (Caffa) 79’
SLC – Curinga (caution) 17’
SLC – Hernandez (caution) 22’
SLC – Lachowecki (caution) 81’
TUL – Cerda (caution) 90’ +2
TUL – Ayala (caution) 90’ +3
Tulsa Roughnecks FC: Fabian Cerda, Jorge Corrales, Modou Jadama, Bradley Bourgeois, Kosuke Kimura, Jacori Hayes, Collin Fernandez, Joey Calistri (Brady Ballew 87’), Juan Caffa-©, Joaquin Rivas (Paris Gee 79’), Ian Svantesson (Jaime Ayala 81’).
Shots: 20; Shots On-Goal: 9; Saves: 6; Fouls: 11; Corners: 5; Offsides: 6.
Real Monarchs SLC: Eduardo Fernandez, Chris Schuler (Michael Gallagher 46’), Kyle Curinga, Max Lachowecki, Taylor Peavy, Charlie Adams (Karsten Hanlin 72’), Nick Besler©, Andrew Brody, Daniel Haber, Jose Fernandez (Jonel Desire 65’), Chandler Hoffman.
Shots: 13; Shots On-Goal: 6; Saves: 7; Fouls: 17; Corners: 6; Offsides: 0.