Roughnecks “wrench” OKC Energy

Collin Fernandez races down field on Saturday evening in OKC. Photo credit: Lori Scholl

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK—When the Tulsa Roughnecks FC entered the USL in 2015 they became instant rivals with the OKC Energy FC, continuing an in-state rivalry that has existed across several different sports through the years.

Symbolic of the rivalry and the de facto Black Gold Derby “tournament” a large pipe wrench awarded to the winner of each game played between the two teams, and on Saturday evening on their rivals home pitch at Taft Stadium in Oklahoma City the Roughnecks reclaimed the wrench by posting a 2-1 victory over the Energy.

The Energy got the first goal of the match after a TRFC defensive miscue.  A back header near midfield from Collin Fernandez did not make it to the penalty area. TRFC goalkeeper Fabian Cerda came out of box and cleared straight to the Energy’s Daniel Gonzalez who easily rolled a shot into the empty net.

The Energy goal came after the Roughnecks seemed to dominate the action early on in the first half.  They had several very good chances to put the ball in the OKC net, but could not seem to solve Energy goaltender Cody Laurendi.

The Roughnecks netted the equalizer just after halftime when a handball in the penalty area gifted the Roughnecks with a penalty kick.  Free kick specialist Juan Pablo Caffa was called on to take the shot, and he calmly inserted the ball into the back of the OKC net.  Caffa is a perfect 3-for-3 on the season thus far on PKs.

Joey Callistri, one of the five players on loan from the Chicago Fire, the Roughnecks Major League Soccer affiliate, got the game winner in the 66th minute of the match when he settled a throw-in from Jacori Hayes on his foot, beat an Energy defender on the left side of the penalty area and slotted the ball past Laurendi and just inside the far post.

After the go-ahead goal by Tulsa the Enegry threw everything at the Roughnecks, coming close to pulling even in the 74th minute when they rang the ball off the crossbar, but that was as close as the home team would get.

The win gave the Roughnecks two in a row and improves their overall record to 7-8-0 on the season and into the playoff hunt with 21 points.

It was the second away win of the season for the Roughnecks who improved their record to 2-5 away from ONEOK Field.

The victory also snapped a five-match unbeaten streak at home for the Energy who lost at Taft Stadium for only the second time this year.

The next match for the Roughnecks is this Thursday night when they travel to Los Angeles to take on LA Galaxy II at 9:30pm Tulsa time.  The match will be broadcast on the Roughnecks YouTube channel.  The next home match for the Roughnecks will be on Saturday, July 22 when they host Phoenix Rising at ONEOK Field.  Kickoff is set for 7:30pm.