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Roughnecks and Lights Battle to 2-2 Draw

By Tulsa Roughnecks FC, 06/30/18, 11:30PM CDT

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The Tulsa Roughnecks FC and Las Vegas Lights FC played their second draw of the season Saturday night at ONEOK Field, finishing level at 2-2.  Both teams scored in each half as the two teams split the points.  The match was delayed 32 minutes at halftime by a thunderstorm that hit Tulsa with heavy rain and lightning.

Front Page Photo of Michael Gamble by Rich Crimi

It was the second game in charge for new Roughnecks Head Coach Michael Nsien.  TRFC has picked up four points in the pair of games and now has 11 on the season with a 1-8-8 record. 

The game started perfectly for the Roughnecks.  In just the third minute, Michael Gamble took a shot that was deflected by the arm of Las Vegas defender Eric Avila.  The referee did not hesitate pointing to the spot, awarding Tulsa its second penalty kick of the season.  Roughnecks leading goal scorer Joaquin Rivas made no mistake on the spot kick, hammering it into the back of the net for his seventh goal of the season to give TRFC the early 1-0 lead.


Joaquin Rivas converts his first-half penalty kick for TRFC. (Brooke Carroll)

Paris Gee nearly doubled the margin in the 22nd minute.  The midfielder cut inside his defender near on the left-side of the penalty area and fired a shot that beat the goalkeeper but caromed off the crossbar.

The Lights found the equalizer in the 33rd minute.  Carlos Alvarez seemed to take a shot from 35 yards, but it turned into a perfect pass to Raul Mendiola in the center of the penalty area.  Mendiola cut inside defender Francisco Ugarte and placed a low shot into the far corner of the net to make it 1-1. 

It remained that way as the teams headed to the locker rooms for halftime.  During the break, a thunderstorm moved into downtown Tulsa with heavy rain and frequent lightning, forcing a 45-minute delay to the start of the second-half kickoff. 

The second half opened just like the first half, but it was the Lights who benefited from the awarding of an early penalty kick.  Just two minutes after the restart, TRFC goalkeeper Fabian Cerda was judged to have brought down former Tulsa striker Sammy Ochoa just inside the penalty area.  Lights midfielder Daigo Kobayashi beat Cerda with his right-footed effort to give Las Vegas the 2-1 lead.


Fabian Cerda was called upon to make six saves in Saturday's draw. (Rich Crimi)

The second half opened just like the first half, but it was the Lights who benefited from the awarding of an early penalty kick.  Just two minutes after the restart, TRFC goalkeeper Fabian Cerda was judged to have brought down former Tulsa striker Sammy Ochoa just inside the penalty area.  Lights midfielder Daigo Kobayashi beat Cerda with his right-footed effort to give Las Vegas the 2-1 lead.

The penalty kick theme continued just after the hour mark.  In the 61st minute, TRFC’s Nemanja Vukovic was deemed to have handled in the penalty area, giving the Lights their second PK of the night.  Ochoa stepped to the spot for this attempt and sailed his effort high over the crossbar to keep TRFC’s deficit at one goal.

Off the goal kick, the Roughnecks were awarded a free kick on the right wing.  Vukovic delivered a curving left-footed cross that found Josh Morton at the back post.  The Roughnecks rookie defender headed the cross into the back of the net for his first professional goal, tying the match at 2-2.

Morton had a great opportunity to get a second in the 82nd minute.  A free kick was flicked by John Pirez to Morton who beat his defender directly in front of goal, but his chipped effort sailed over the bar.

Cerda came up big against Mendiola in the 90th minute to keep things level.  The skilled Las Vegas midfielder beat Morton inside the penalty area and found himself in on Cerda, but the TRFC keeper rushed out and deflected Mendiola’s shot.


Josh Morton celebrates his first professional goal. (Brooke Carroll)

Nsien was pleased with his team’s effort, but was disappointed to not pick up the team’s second straight win. 

“I thought we started off well, then we had some gaps in the middle,” said Nsien.  We struggled with our balance with the team, and I think we missed Ivan (Mirkovic) today. He was a big part of our success last game. During the delay, we tried to sort out some of our problems and discuss what we wanted to do in the second half, and I think we had a better half.”

The Roughnecks and Nsien will have a week off before returning to the field next Saturday, July 7, at Rio Grande Valley.  It will be the first of three straight away matches for TRFC.  Kickoff against the Toros is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CDT.

 

MATCH SUMMARY 

Tulsa Roughnecks FC 2 – Las Vegas Lights FC 2
June 30, 2018
ONEOK Field – Tulsa, OK

 

Scoring Summary:
TUL – Rivas (Penalty Kick) 4’
LV – Mendiola (Alvarez) 33’
LV – Kobayashi (Penalty Kick) 49’
TUL – Morton (Vukovic) 63’

 

Misconduct Summary:
LV – Avila (caution) 3’
TUL – Cerda (caution) 47’
LV – Jaime (caution) 71’
TUL – Pirez (caution) 74’

 

Tulsa Roughnecks FC: Fabian Cerda, Nemanja Vukovic, Claudio Munoz, Francisco Ugarte ©, Josh Morton, Brandon Servania , Michael Gamble (Christian Thierjung 84’), Paris Gee (Jonathan Levin 66’), Joaquin Rivas, Eti Tavares, Jhon Pirez.

Shots: 16; Shots on Goal: 5; Saves: 6; Fouls: 12; Corners: 3; Offsides: 1.

 

Las Vegas Lights FC: Ricardo Ferrino, Juan Herrera-Perla, Marcelo Alatorre, Marco Jaime, Eric Avila (Zach Mathers 74’), Christian Torres (Alex Mendoza 86’), James Murphy, Daigo Kobayshi, Carlos Alvarez, Raul Mendiola, Sammy Ochoa.

Shots: 19; Shots on Goal: 8; Saves: 3; Fouls: 15; Corners: 5; Offside: 2.