Joaquin Rivas and Eti Tavares celebrate TRFC's second-half goal on Saturday. (Brooke Carroll)
After giving up a goal at the end of the first-half on Saturday night at ONEOK Field, the Tulsa Roughnecks FC came out strong in the second-half, scoring the equalizer in a 1-1 draw against the Swope Park Rangers. Midway through the half, Eti Tavares found Joaquin Rivas for the goal in Tulsa’s franchise record 12th draw of the season.
Front page photo by Tim Campbell
The draw gives Tulsa a 3-15-12 record on the year for 21 points, and is its second result in the last three matches.
Midway through the first half, Tulsa started to apply pressure, and its first chance came in the 25th minute. From the left, Nemanja Vukovic sent in a ball to Joaquin Rivas who was waiting by the near post, but his shot missed just to the outside.
Ten minutes later, Vukovic and Rivas almost connected on a similar play. Once again from the left, Vukovic sent in a cross that found Michael Gamble in the middle of the box. Gamble made a quick pass to Rivas who was running towards the goal, but the ball found the arms of Swope Park goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas.
The Rangers finally opened the scoring right at the end of the first half. Matheus Sylva ran through the middle of the field and made a pass to Tyler Blackwood. Blackwood immediately booted the ball to Hadji Barry who sent in the game’s first goal.
The Roughnecks came out strong in the second half and produced two early chances. First, Ivan Mirkovic found Gamble who was running towards goal. Gamble connected and delivered a shot that forced a diving save by Zendejas.
Adrian Zendejas robs Michael Gamble in the second-half of Saturday's 1-1 draw. (Tim Campbell)
Moments later, Tulsa earned a corner. Rivas sent in a perfect ball that found Josh Morton in the box. Morton quickly struck the header but right into the arms of Zendejas.
Another great chance came for the Roughnecks in the 63rd minute. Paris Gee sent in a ball to Rivas inside the box. Rivas shot a rocket towards the far post, but Zendejas got a hand on the ball.
Minutes later, Rivas finally connected with the equalizer. In the 68th minute, Eti Tavares dribbled the legs of his defender and delivered a perfect cross to Rivas. The striker immediately booted it into the back of the net, leveling the match at 1-1.
The Roughnecks kept applying heavy pressure in the second half. A few minutes after the goal, Gamble delivered a ball to Rivas at the top of the box who fired a rocket that forced Zendejas to make another diving save.
The last chance of the match came in stoppage time. The Roughnecks earned a free kick as time wound down. Vukovic sent in a curling cross from 25-yards that again found the arms of Zendejas, giving each team a point.
With the point, Tulsa moved up one spot in the USL’s Western Conference standings.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC 1 – Swope Park Rangers 1
September 22, 2018
ONEOK Field – Tulsa, OK
SPR – Hadji Barry (Blackwood) 44’
TUL – Joaquin Rivas (Tavares) 68’
SPR – Matheus Silva (caution) 67’
TUL – Josh Morton (caution) 86’
SPR – Chase Minter (caution) 90+1’
Tulsa Roughnecks FC: Fabian Cerda, Paris Gee, Adrian Jusino, Josh Morton, Nemanja Vukovic ©, Eti Tavares, Alex Covarrubias, Ivan Mirkovic (D.J. Dean 89’), Joaquin Rivas, Brandon Servania (Isaac Diaz 74’), Michael Gamble.
Shots: 15; Shots on Goal: 6; Saves: 6; Fouls: 14; Corners: 7; Offsides: 1.
Swope Park Rangers: Adrian Zedejas ©, Amer Didic, Graham Smith, Justin Bilyeu, Colton Storm, Matheus Silva, Rassambek Akhmator (Chase Minter 74’), Hadji Barry (Bryam Rebellon 83’), Kharlton Belmar, Tyler Blackwood (Ethan Vanacore-Decker 74’), Felipe Hernandez.
Shots: 10; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 5; Fouls: 10; Corners: 1; Offsides: 1.