OKLAHOMA CITY – The first Black Gold Derby of 2020 saw each side claim a point as OKC Energy FC and FC Tulsa played to a 1-1 draw at Taft Stadium on Monday night on ESPN2. Jaime Chavez opened the scoring late in the first half, but Rodrigo Da Costa’s goal in first-half stoppage time evened things up to earn the visitors a share of the spoils.
The game opened relatively evenly in possession, but Tulsa looked the more dangerous when it was on the ball. A clever back-heel flick by Da Costa in the eighth minute from the left side of the penalty area set up Dario Suarez for a finish he dragged wide of the left post when he might have done better, while Eric Bird shot high after a good layoff inside the penalty area from Suarez eight minutes later.
The visitors created their best chance of the first half in the 39th minute when a quick ball forward released Suarez in behind only for Energy FC’s Christian Ibeagha to recover and block a chance to shoot. A minute later, however, Energy FC struck as a quick move through midfield found Zach Ellis-Hayden in space on the right side. A low delivery to the top of the six-yard area was all the invitation Chavez needed, and the veteran striker tucked home a first-time finish.
On the stroke of halftime, however, Tulsa found an answer. After Lebo Moloto was released into space in the left corner, his floated cross found Marlon at the back post for a good downward header that Da Costa reacted first to, and poked home a finish for his second goal of the season.
Chances proved harder to come by in the second half, with Moloto putting a long-distance drive on target that was gathered by OKC goalkeeper C.J. Cochran in the closing stages. In the end, however, honors ended even as the longtime rivals kicked off a new era.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Rodrigo Da Costa, FC Tulsa – Da Costa was the man on the spot to grab the equalizer for the visitors, and regularly looked the brightest player on the field, recording two key passes and three crosses.