Didier Drogba scored a brace in Saturday night's 5-1 win for Phoenix at ONEOK Field. (Brooke Carroll)
The Tulsa Roughnecks F.C. faced a red-hot Phoenix Rising F.C. side and former Chelsea superstar Didier Drogba Saturday night at ONEOK Field, and after a promising first half, the Roughnecks were undone by a four-goal second half and were beaten 5-1. The result ended Tulsa’s five-match unbeaten run, while it upped the Rising’s unbeaten run to six straight games.
Front page photo of Zac Lubin by Rich Crimi
With the loss, TRFC remains on five points for the season with a 0-4-5 record, while Phoenix improved to 21 points with a 6-1-3 mark.
Last season, in his one appearance at ONEOK Field, Drogba did not find the back of the net, but it did not take the Ivory Coast legend long to change the storyline this season. In just the third minute, Drogba took advantage of a misplayed cross to easily slide his shot past Fabian Cerda to give the Rising a quick 1-0 lead.
The Roughnecks found an equalizer just eight minutes later, and it came from the penalty spot. Former Roughnecks midfielder Collin Fernandez was ruled to have used his hand in the box to deflect a cross from Fernando Arce. Arce stepped to the spot and rolled a soft shot past former Roughnecks goalkeeper Zac Lubin to level the score at 1-1. It was the first penalty kick attempt of the season for TRFC.
Fernando Arce converts his first-half penalty kick in Saturday's match. (Brooke Carroll)
The next good scoring chance did not come until the 38th minute, when Cerda made a diving save on Drogba’s free kick effort from ten yards outside the box.
In the 41st minute TRFC’s Michael Gamble dribbled his way through three defenders before going down just at the edge of the penalty area. Hoping for a dangerous free kick opportunity, Gamble was instead booked for diving.
It remained 1-1, until Drogba took the match over in the 66th minute. First, the Phoenix captain chipped a free kick cross into the box that Asante Solomon headed off the post. Kevin Lambert tapped in the rebound at the back post, as the Roughnecks asked for an offside flag that would not come, giving Phoenix the lead.
Drogba would add to the margin just three minutes later with a 30-yard free kick that rocketed into the upper corner of the goal.
Tulsa's five-match unbeaten streak ended with Saturday's loss. (Rich Crimi)
The questionable goal and the impressive free kick seemed was too much for the Roughnecks to overcome.
Phoenix substitute Kody Wakasa netted a fourth in the 80th minute on a nice setup by Fernandez.
Despite the three-goal lead, the Rising kept pushing forward and added another goal in the 87th minute when Chris Cortez headed in a cross from Amadou Dia to make the final margin 5-1.
Tulsa will now turn its attention to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. TRFC will host NPSL side F.C. Wichita at the University of Tulsa Soccer and Track Stadium on Wednesday, May 16 in a second round meeting. Kickoff on Wednesday is at 7:00 p.m. Tulsa will return to USL regular season action next Saturday, May 19 when it travels to Texas to face San Antonio F.C. Kickoff will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Alamo City.
Tickets for the U.S. Open Cup match and any other regular season home match this season are available online by clicking HERE, by calling (918) 744-5901 or by visiting the stadium ticket office.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC 1 – Phoenix Rising FC 5
May 12, 2018
ONEOK Field – Tulsa, OK
PHX – Drogba 4’
TUL – Arce (Penalty Kick) 11’
PHX – Lambert 66’
PHX – Drogba 69’
PHX – Wakasa (Fernandez) 70’
PHX – Cortez (Dia) 87’
TUL – Arce (caution) 23’
TUL – Jusino (caution) 36’
TUL – Gamble (simulation) 41’
PHX – Lambert (caution) 73’
TUL – Vukovic (caution) 81’
Tulsa Roughnecks FC: Fabian Cerda, Josh Morton, Wyatt Omsberg, Adrian Jusino, Nemanja Vukovic, Jonathan Levin, Joaquin Rivas, Michael Gamble (Michael Binns 83’), Jesus Ferreira (Jhon Pirez 68’), Riggs Lennon (Paris Gee 56’), Fernando Arce.
Shots: 9; Shots on Goal: 1; Saves: 7; Fouls: 13; Corners: 1; Offside: 2.
Phoenix Rising FC: Zac Lubin, Devante Dubose (Koby Wakasa 72’), James Musa, Doueugui Mala, Mike Da Fonte, Amadou Dia, Kevin Lambert, Collin Fernandez, Asante Solomon, Didier Drogba (Chris Cortez 83’), Jason Johnson.
Shots: 30; Shots on Goal: 12; Saves: 0; Fouls: 17; Corners: 6; Offside: 2.