A combination of turnovers and critical mistakes led to the third straight loss for the Tulsa Roughnecks FC on Tuesday night as they fell to Swope Park Rangers (Sporting KC 2) by a 2-1 decision at ONEOK Field.
The Rangers used a goal in each half to push past the Roughnecks, who haven’t won a match since defeating Portland 3-1 on May 27. The match began as many soccer matches often do, with the teams playing a very tentative game through the first 24 minutes.
In the 27th minute Swope Park broke the scoreless tie when a throw-in was headed in front of goal and Diego Rubio slotted past TRFC keeper Fabian Cerda and into the back of the net. The Rangers extended their lead in the 63rd minute when Cameron Iwasa got free down the left side, and after a long run, found Mark Gonzalez free at the back post.
Gonzalez, who had just entered the match, finished past Cerda to make it 2-0. It was the fourth goal of the season for the Canadian, with three of them coming against TRFC.
Six minutes later, Roughnecks midfielder Collin Fernandez blasted a shot from about 25 yards out that beat Rangers goalkeeper Adrian Zendajas on a deflection. The goal awakened the Roughnecks attack after that, but the comeback by the home team fell short.
With the loss the Roughnecks fell to 5-8-0 on the season with 15 points, while Swope Park improved to 7-4-2 with 23 points. The Roughnecks remain winless against the Rangers, losing all four contests last season to Sporting KC’s USL side and both matches this season.
The Roughnecks were not without chances in Tuesday’s match. The home side was credited with 13 shots in the game but only five were deemed to be on target. The Rangers fired ten shots in the match, with 5 called as on target and two goals slipping in past Fabian Cerda.
TRFC head coach David Vaudreuil blamed the loss on the Roughnecks inability to adapt to changing game situations and giving up too many goals early on in the match, which has been a familiar refrain lately.
“If we are going to give up two or three goals every game, we are going to struggle to win matches,” said Vaudreuil. “We made two big mistakes on the two goals and the game gets very difficult for us.”
“Tonight was very similar to our previous two games when we lost at Kansas City and at San Antonio. The formula does not change. The first thing you have to do is not to give up goals, and we have given up way too many. We haven’t been good enough.”
“It seems like a long time since we scored four goals against Orange County and three against Portland, and I think the pressure has gotten to us a little bit,” added Vaudreuil. “We have the ability to score goals, but guys are pressing.”
“I am happy with the effort. I am happy with training, but we just have to get better. We have 19 games left, so there is a lot ahead of us.”
The Roughnecks will remain at home this weekend for a Saturday match with Real Monarchs SLC. The Monarchs are the current USL West leaders having won all but one out of 14 matches this season.
Kickoff is slated for 7:30pm and a huge fireworks display is scheduled for after the match.