Photo courtesy of OKC Energy FC
OKLAHOMA CITY – OKC Energy FC was less than 30 seconds away from a victory and officially booking its second straight spot in the USL Playoffs. That berth is going to have to wait as Seattle Sounders FC 2’s Tony Alfaro tallied a dramatic equalizer in the third minute of second-half stoppage time to help the road side earn a 2-2 draw Sunday at Taft Stadium. Victor Mansaray scored the other goal for Seattle in the 53rd minute. Energy FC’s Kyle Hyland and Linus Olsson scored for the host side. OKC moves to 10-5-12 (42 points) overall and 5-2-6 at home while Seattle is now 9-11-8 (35 points) overall and 2-6-5 on the road. Seattle is winless in their past five road games (0-2-3), but the club certainly will take the point as it almost seemed inevitable that it would come away with anything at the close. In the only other meeting, Energy FC and Seattle played to a 1-1 draw on May 1 at Starfire Stadium.
11’ – OKC – Kyle Hyland
53’ – SEA – Victor Mansaray (Irvin Parra)
59’ – OKC – Linus Olsson (Michael Thomas)
90’+ – SEA – Tony Alfaro
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Deep into second-half stoppage time, Seattle earned a throw-in deep in the attacking third, and it served as one final chance for the club to find an equalizer. Energy FC attempted the clear the throw-in from the left, but the attempted clearance only reached approximately 15 yards away from the frame as S2’s Tony Alfaro was in the right place at the right time. His left-footed shot snuck inside the right post and tied the score at 2-2. Alfaro has two goals on the season. Seattle’s other goal came from Victor Mansaray in the 53rd minute as Irvin Parra delivered a dangerous free kick toward the far left post, and Mansaray got just enough of a boot on it to redirect past OKC goalkeeper Cody Laurendi to tie the score at 1-1. Laurendi has been stuck on 12 shutouts this season as he remains one behind the USL record of 13 set last year by 2015 USL Goalkeeper of the Year Brandon Miller.
2. Six minutes after conceding a second-half equalizer, OKC demonstrated some composure in finding a quick response to regain the advantage against Seattle. In the 59th minute, Linus Olsson notched his first goal of the season to give Energy FC a 2-1 lead. Michael Thomas dropped back into the defensive third and when he looked up played a deep ball over Seattle’s defense as Olsson made a nice break past the back line and then slotted it into the left of the frame. Thomas now has three assists on the season.
3. The first 15 minutes of the match belonged to Kyle Hyland, setting up a Danni Konig chance in the second minute and forcing S2 goalkeeper Charlie Lyon into a save at the near left post in the third minute. In the 11th, Hyland put host OKC on the score sheet. Following a set piece chance, Hyland charged up the left side, and perhaps surprising fashion, he decided to take a shot from about 23 yards out with his left foot. The strike skipped along the surface twice and snuck inside the far right post past Lyon to give Energy FC the 1-0 lead. It was Hyland’s second goal of the season.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Kyle Hyland, OKC Energy FC - Amid the swings in this match, it was Hyland's first-half efforts that certainly stood out as he scored the game's opening goal and was in the mix of several other promising sequences for Energy FC.
OKC Energy FC vs. Swope Park Rangers – Sept. 18, 7 p.m. ET, Taft Stadium
Seattle Sounders FC 2 at Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Sept. 17, 9 p.m. ET, Switchbacks Stadium