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Energy FC continues points streak in scoreless draw

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Oklahoma City's Christian Volesky, right, and Fresno's Sam Strong go for the ball during a USL soccer game between the Oklahoma City Energy FC and Fresno FC at Taft Stadium on Wednesday night. [PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OKLAHOMAN]

Oklahoma City's Christian Volesky, right, and Fresno's Sam Strong go for the ball during a USL soccer game between the Oklahoma City Energy FC and Fresno FC at Taft Stadium on Wednesday night. [PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OKLAHOMAN]

As the ball deflected off Callum Ross' foot, it curled around the goal post.

The shot didn't go in, but it was one of the few opportunities Energy FC had during its scoreless draw against Fresno FC on Wednesday night at Taft Stadium. Alex Dixon hit the soft tap to Ross, who held his hands on his head in frustration as he crouched down after the shot attempt.

The Greens were going against a slight south breeze for most of the second half, so their chances were limited. Fresno FC dominated possession, constantly keeping Energy FC active defensively without giving up much on the far side of the field.

In the 70th minute, Energy FC goalkeeper Bryan Byars narrowly avoided a ball slipping through his gloves to give Fresno FC a winning score. He was constantly deflecting balls throughout the second half, though the Greens' defense sometimes struggled to maintain possession.

Energy FC has earned a point in eight straight matches, dating to a June 13 road victory against Portland Timbers FC II. During those eight games, Energy FC has garnered a 4-0-4 record, earning 16 points in the United Soccer League standings.

The Greens (6-10-5) maintained possession for most of the first half, but they were able to get the ball inside the box. Fresno FC capitalized on poking the ball from attackers while keeping goalkeeper Kyle Reynish free from too much pressure.

Philip Rasmussen had a go from outside of the box in the 26th minute, but Reynish was able to deflect the ball out of the top corner. In the 43rd minute, Alex Dixon had a decent opportunity from the box and positioned the shot near the far corner, but it deflected off a defender.

The Greens constantly had corner kick opportunities throughout the first half, yet Fresno FC (7-7-8) continued its poised defensive approach, heading balls out of the box and away from Reynish.

Byars was also tidy in his defense during the first half. Byars, who made his third start in place of injured goalkeeper Matt VanOekel, didn't have much action in the first half but made strong saves when the ball came his way.

Each team attempted four shots in the first half.

The draw was Energy FC's fourth in its past five matches. It's also the first game it hasn't scored since May 9 in a 3-0 home loss against Phoenix Rising FC.

Energy FC's next match is Saturday at Taft Stadium against San Antonio FC.

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