Joey Calistri's ninth goal of the season was the difference in Saturday's match. (Rich Crimi)
Playing in its first home match in over a month, Tulsa Roughnecks FC moved one step closer to the first USL playoff appearance in team history with a 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy II. The only goal of the match came from Joey Calistri in the 25th minute.
Front page photo by Lori Scholl
With the win and the three points, TRFC improved its season point total to 43 from a 13-11-4 record. The Roughnecks vaulted into fifth place in the USL’s Western Conference table, pending the results from other games over the weekend. The top eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs.
The match started at a quick pace, with both teams threatening to open the scoring. TRFC goalkeeper Fabian Cerda was called upon just 30 seconds into the game, catching a shot from Jonathan Estrada. After the save, the Roughnecks countered and Calistri put a headed shot on target, forcing new Galaxy II keeper Justin Vom Steeg to make his first save.
Calistri headed a cross from Juan Pablo Caffa on target in the 14th minute, but Vom Steeg was again in the right spot to deny the shot. Less than one minute later, Cerda made the save of the match to keep it scoreless. The Tulsa goalkeeper was sliding the wrong way to try to stop a shot from Estrada, but he was able to reach back across his body and make a one-handed save to keep it 0-0.
The Roughnecks finished off a good stretch of play with the only goal of the night in the 25th minute. Joaquin Rivas found space on the left wing and made a long run before sending a cross in front of goal. The passed deflected off a pair of Galaxy II defenders and straight to Calistri who slotted the ball into the net from five yards out for his ninth goal of the season.
After the halftime break, Tulsa had several chances to double its lead. In the 61st minute, an open header from Ian Svantesson when straight at Vom Steeg, and in the 62nd minute a long strike from Caffa rolled just wide of the post.
Svantesson had another good opportunity when he got behind the Galaxy II backline, but his low right-footed shot was stuffed by the keeper.
The Roughnecks had other chances to get a second goal before Los Dos controlled the final 10 minutes, pushing forward in search of an equalizer.
Substitute Justin Dhillon’s left-footed shot was denied on a diving save from Cerda in the 85th minute, and his header in the 90th minute was stopped by the Tulsa keeper.
Fabian Cerda made five saves in the match to record his eight clean sheet of the regular season. (Matt Christensen)
Los Dos controlled possession through almost all of the four minutes of stoppage time, but could not net an equalizer.
Cerda made five saves in the game in recording his eighth clean sheet of the regular season.
The statistics from the match were virtually equal. Tulsa had a 17-16 advantage in total shots, while Galaxy II had a narrow edge in time of possession, 50.5-49.5%.
The match kicked off a stretch in which the Roughnecks will play four of five games at home to end the regular season. Tulsa will be back in action at ONEOK Field next Saturday, September 30, when it hosts San Antonio FC. Tickets are now available HERE. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC 1 Los Angeles Galaxy II 0
Saturday, September 23, 2017
ONEOK Field – Tulsa, OK
TUL – Calistri 26’
LA – Turner (caution) 25’
TUL – Corrales (caution) 70’
TUL – Levin (caution) 73’
TUL – Kimura (caution) 90’ +3
LA Galaxy II: Justin Vom Steeg, Leonardo Sepulveda, Jefrey Payeras © (Jake Arteaga 57’), Jean Engola, Tyler Turner (Jonathan Hernandez 88’), Adrian Vera, Ryo Fujii, Andre Zanga, Jorge Hernandez, Ethan Zubak, Jonah Estrada (Justin Dhillon 46’).
Shots: 16, Shots on Goal: 5, Saves: 6; Fouls: 15; Corners: 5; Offsides: 0.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC: Fabian Cerda, Jorge Corrales, Francisco Ugarte, Modou Jadama, Kosuke Kimura, Paris Gee (Collin Fernandez 60’), Jonathan Levin, Joaquin Rivas, Juan Pablo Caffa©, Joey Calistri (Brady Ballew 88’), Ian Svantesson (Christian Thierjung 74’).
Shots: 17; Shots on Goal: 7; Saves: 5; Fouls: 15; Corners: 3; Offsides: 6.
Joey Calistri celebrates his goal with The Roustabouts. (Brooke Carroll)