Chase Gentry suffers a hard challenge during Wednesday's first half. (Rich Crimi)
The Tulsa Roughnecks F.C. suffered a quick exit from the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, suffering a 4-3 loss to F.C. Wichita Wednesday night at the University of Tulsa Soccer and Track Stadium. The Roughnecks surrendered the winning goal in second-half stoppage time.
Front page photo of Jhon Pirez by Brooke Carroll
For much of the night, TRFC seemed in control headed to the tournament’s third round. The Roughnecks took leads on three different occasions and never trailed until surrendering what proved to be the match-winning goal one minute into extra time.
Tulsa even went a man up just after halftime when Wichita’s Edward Gomez was sent off for a second yellow card. Just seconds later, the Roughnecks went in front 3-2, but things unraveled under an avalanche of cautions. TRFC eventually lost its man advantage when Nemanja Vukovic was given his second yellow of the match in the 87th minute. It was one of seven cautions in the second half for the Roughnecks.
The match began under warm temperatures and threatening skies, and it was Wichita who threatened to score first. TRFC goalkeeper Chase Gentry was called into action just four minutes into the match, making a diving save off a full-volleyed shot from the top of the box. The rebound effort was blocked and cleared from danger by the Roughnecks.
The Roughnecks struck first on the half-hour mark when Jhon Pirez headed Vukovic’s corner kick off the crossbar and into the net.
It began a flurry of goals as Wichita found an equalizer just five minutes later. A low cross from Jose Landaverde found an unmarked Thomas Wells, who’s shot from 15 yards left Gentry with no chance.
It took the Roughnecks just three minutes to go back in front. In the 38th minute, Pirez picked up a loose ball and dribbled just inside the box before firing a low shot that beat Wichita goalkeeper Mark Weir to the far post.
Less than two minutes after halftime, Wichita drew level again when Franck Tayou headed in a corner kick.
Just a minute later, Wichita was reduced to ten men when Gomez picked up his second yellow card of the night for a nasty challenge on Michael Binns at the midfield stripe.
The furious action continued as the Roughnecks scored their third goal of the match in the 50th minute. Vukovic again played provider with a bending free kick cross into the penalty area that was headed into the net by Riggs Lennon to put TRFC in front 3-2.
The lead lasted just over ten minutes as TRFC was whistled for a foul just outside the penalty area. Gentry got a hand to Landaverde’s splendid free kick effort, but the ball was deemed to have crossed the goal line by the assistant referee, leveling the score at 3-3.
Eti Taveras takes on a pair of Wichita defenders. (Brooke Carroll)
After Vukovic was sent off, the match became 10 v 10, and Wichita was the side to take advantage. One minute into six minutes of stoppage time, Gentry failed to handle and Tayou pounced on the opportunity by finishing from a severe angle. His second goal of the night proved to be the winner as the Roughnecks could not find an equalizer in the remaining five minutes of play.
For the Roughnecks, they must get over the disappointment of a quick ouster from the Cup as they will return to USL regular season play this Saturday with a trip to Texas for their first meeting this season with San Antonio FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
The next home match for TRFC will be on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, May 26, with the second edition of the Black Gold Derby versus the OKC Energy. The Energy was also eliminated from the Open Cup on Wednesday.
Tickets for the 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 3 - FC Wichita 4
May 16, 2018
Hurricane Soccer & Track Stadium– Tulsa, OK
TUL - Pirez (Vukovic) 30’
WIC - Wells (Landaverde) 35’
TUL - Pirez 38’
WIC - Tayou 47’
TUL - Lennon (Vukovic) 50’
WIC - Landaverde 61’
WIC - Tayou 90+1’
WIC - Gomez (caution) 25’
WIC - Wells (caution) 34’
WIC - Cubero (caution) 43’
WIC - Gomez (second yellow/red) 48’
TUL - Taveras (caution) 52’
TUL - Binns (caution) 64’
TUL - Vukovic (caution) 68’
TUL - Levin (caution) 72’
TUL - Jusino (caution) 82'
TUL - Ugarte (caution) 85’
TUL - Vukovic (second yellow/red) 87’
Tulsa Roughnecks FC: Chase Gentry, Nemanja Vukovic, Claudio Munoz (Adrian Jusino 47’), Francisco Ugarte, Michael Binns, Ivan Mirkovic, Jonathan Levin, Riggs Lennon (Joaquin Rivas 65’), Christian Rodriguez, Eti Taveras, Jhon Pir (Josh Morton 73’).
FC Wichita: Mark Weir, Luis Vidal Pla (Kieran Laking 59’), Uzi Tayou, Leonardo Perez, Teylor Cubero, Benjamin Andoh, Edward Gomez, Jose Landaverde, Andres Ochoa (Marian Saar 90’), Thomas Wells, Franck Tayou.
Jonathan Levin heads a clearance in Wednesday's Cup match. (Rich Crimi)