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Energy rallies from early deficit for 1-1 draw vs. rival Roughnecks FC

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Oklahoma City's Alexy Bosetti (10), left, dribbles away from Orange County players during a USL soccer game between the OKC Energy FC and Orange County SC at Taft Stadium in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 20, 2019. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Alexy Bosetti (10), left, dribbles away from Orange County players during a USL soccer game between the OKC Energy FC and Orange County SC at Taft Stadium in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 20, 2019. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

TULSA — It’s a testament to how far the Tulsa Roughnecks FC have come this season that a tie at home against their arch-rival counts as a disappointing result.

But after the Roughnecks took an early 1-0 lead just four minutes into the match, settling for a 1-1 draw against the Energy FC Saturday night at ONEOK Field qualified as somewhat of a missed opportunity.

Tulsa, which endured an awful 3-19-12 record during the 2018 season, is now 4-3-2 on the year, good for second place in the USL Championship’s Western Conference, pending other league results.

“It’s disappointing,” said Roughnecks coach Michael Nsien, whose team remains undefeated with a 3-0-2 mark at ONEOK Field. “Every time we play at home, we expect to win. I think the fans today were good, it was a good turnout, we wanted to pay them back with three points.”

Tulsa struck early on a goal by Janu Silva. Rodrigo Da Costa fed a nice lead pass into the penalty area for Silva, who fired a shot from 10 yards out low inside the left post for his third of the season. Da Costa took over the league lead with his sixth assist.

Silva ended up leaving the game about 10 minutes later after an apparent left ankle injury. After staying down for several minutes, he did walk off the field under his own power, with help, as Tobenna Uzo substituted in for him. Silva’s absence the rest of the way definitely impacted Tulsa’s performance negatively.

“I think it was a kick that led to an ankle roll, so hopefully, it’s nothing too serious and he’s able to recover quick,” Nsien said of Silva. “Him going down early, I think we suffered a bit and we were kind of trying to rebound from that. He’s a key player for us, he links the midfield. Scoring goals is a bonus for him as a striker, because he’s good at so many other areas of the game, like hold up play and defending from the front, so it was definitely different when he went off.”

Oklahoma City nearly tied it in the 30th minute when Christian Eissele blocked Tulsa goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar’s clearing attempt and rolled a slow shot towards the open net, but Roughnecks’ defender Moses Makinde managed to get to it in time to clear it off the goal line.

The Energy did get the equalizer two minutes later, though, as Alexy Bosetti’s free kick from the left side of the box deflected off a Tulsa defender right to OKC’s Owayne Gordon, who beat Stajduhar with a 5-yard header.

Tulsa had one more good opportunity to score, when Fabian Bastidas launched a blast from 15 yards out, but Energy goalkeeper Cody Laurendi made a nice diving stop.

OKC almost took the lead in the 52nd minute, but Stajduhar slid out to make the save on Cordell Cato’s point-blank shot.

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