Photo courtesy Steven Christy/OKC Energy FC
OKLAHOMA CITY – An early goal held up as OKC Energy FC managed a 1-0 victory over Tulsa Roughnecks FC before a sellout crowd of 6,757 at Taft Stadium on Saturday night in the first Black Gold Derby of the 2018 season. It took just six minutes for Energy FC to hit the lead as forward Francis Atuahene took advantage of an interception, catching out the Tulsa defense which afforded him space to score his first professional goal with a strong shot from distance. Tulsa looked dangerous at times in the first half but struggled to get shots away, allowing OKC to hold on to the lead at the break. OKC nearly doubled its lead in the 62nd minute thanks to an indirect free kick in the box, after two initial shots were blocked on the line, Tulsa goalkeeper Fabian Cerda was at his best to make two saves, sending the ball over the bar. Energy FC always seemed to have a measure of control through the second half and in the 90th minute all hope of Tulsa claiming a draw vanished when defender Francisco Ugarte was shown a second yellow card as the frustration came out from Roughnecks FC players, ending the match with 10 men.
6’ – OKC – Francis Atuahene
Three Things That Matter:
1. While OKC only held 51.8 percent of possession, Energy FC was much more dominant in this match than that statistic makes it sound, getting away 20 shots, compared to Tulsa’s 11, most of those coming in the second half.
2. Tulsa's defenders struggled to make their tackles, only recording 15 in the match at a 53.3-percent success rate, and that allowed OKC free rein to run through and create chances consistently throughout the contest.
3. Reflecting the control that OKC had in the match, Tulsa did not generate a corner kick all match. By comparison, OKC had six, showing the territorial advantage that Energy FC had over its in-state rival.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Francis Atuahene – OKC Energy FC – Playing in his first professional match on loan from FC Dallas, Atuahene wasted no time in making an impact, scoring early and having three shots in the match while contributing on defense with two tackles.
Oklahoma City Energy FC vs. Phoenix Rising FC – March 24, 10:00p.m. ET, Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex
Tulsa Roughnecks FC vs. Real Monarchs SLC – March 24, 8:00p.m. ET, ONEOK Field