The second edition of the Black Gold Derby was played Saturday night at ONEOK Field with both Tulsa and Oklahoma City desperately searching for a win, but a victory would not come for either side as the match finished in a 1-1 draw.
It was more of the same for the Roughnecks who have played to draws in 7 of their 11 matches this season. TRFC remains winless with seven points from a 0-4-7 record, and the seven draws mark an all-time, franchise high for Tulsa.
Oklahoma City is also at seven points with a 2-8-1 record.
It was the worst possible start to the match for the Roughnecks. Just 45 seconds after kickoff, Alex Dixon found space on the right side for the Energy and sent a ball into the box for Christian Volesky. Volesky turned and perfectly placed a shot into the far corner of the net to give OKC the quick 1-0 lead.
The Roughnecks took just 16 minutes to find an equalizer and it again came from Joaquin Rivas. Goalkeeper Fabian Cerda started the play by delivering a long ball that perfectly led striker Jhon Pirez. Pirez settled and played a back-heel pass between two defenders to Rivas. The Tulsa midfielder was left unmarked and slid a low, left-footed shot into the corner of the net to level things at 1-1. For Rivas, it was his team-leading sixth goal of the season.
The Roughnecks played to their seventh draw of the season. (Matt Christensen)
Tulsa nearly found a go-ahead goal in first-half stoppage time. A ball off the head of Rivas found Pirez who tried to volley a shot from just inside the box, but his effort went just over the crossbar.
The Roughnecks were under heavy pressure for parts of the second half, and the Energy came within inches of taking the lead in the 76th minute. A long outlet was led in front of Volesky who beat an onrushing Cerda to the ball. The striker’s shot was headed into the empty net, but a sliding Wyatt Omsberg was able to clear the shot off the line to save Cerda and the Roughnecks.
A minute later, Tulsa had a free kick at the other end. Pirez’s skidding right-footed shot was bobbled by Matt Van Oekel, but the OKC keeper was able to reach the possible rebound before Omsberg could get to it.
TRFC came close again in the 86h minute. A Paris Gee cross found Pirez just eight yards from goal, but his header flew wide of the far post.
The Energy had the final chance to snatch the full point seconds into stoppage time, but Volesky’s shot from the center of the box was lofted over the bar.
TRFC defender Wyatt Omsberg delivers a pass in Saturday's match. (Brooke Carroll)
“This draw was much more disappointing,” said TRFC Head Coach David Vaudreuil. “We gave away a soft, early goal, but responded very well. Rivas and Pirez combined to score a beautiful goal, and I thought we were in good shape. Jesus came on in the second half and gave us a spark, but in reality, in the last 15 minutes they were stronger and better. And, that is disappointing.”
“It was a huge game for both of us, and the draw puts even more pressure on us,” added Vaudreuil. “We are going to take two days off and get right back to work, and I expect us to win in Los Angeles.”
That trip to California will feature a match against the LA Galaxy II next Saturday, June 2. Kickoff at the Track & Field Stadium at the Stubhub Center is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. CDT. Fans can watch a live stream of the match with a subscription to ESPN+.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC 1 – OKC Energy FC 1
May 26, 2018
ONEOK Field – Tulsa, OK
OKC – Volesky (A.Dixon) 1’
TUL – Rivas (Pirez) 15’
TUL – Mirkovic (caution) 11’
TUL – Jusino (caution) 41’
OKC – Ibeagha (caution) 76’
TUL – Rivas (caution) 87’
Tulsa Roughnecks FC: Fabian Cerda, Claudio Munoz, Wyatt Omsberg, Adrian Jusino (Paris Gee 61’), Nemanja Vukovic (Jesus Ferreira 53’), Jonathan Levin, Ivan Mirkovic (Michael Gamble 79’), Brandon Servania, Josh Morton, Joaquin Rivas, Jhon Pirez.
Shots: 7; Shots on Goal: 2; Saves: 2; Fouls: 13; Corners: 3; Offside: 3.
OKC Energy FC: Matt Van Oekel, Richard Dixon, Christian Ibeagha, Kyle Hyland, Coady Andrews, Justin Chavez, Callum Ross, Philip Rasmussen (Jose Barril 69’), Jon Brown (Ema Twumasi 59’), Alex Dixon (Jaime Siaj 79’), Christian Volesky.
Shots: 13; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 1; Fouls: 13; Corners: 4; Offside: 0.