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GAMEDAY ROUNDUP: Tulsa Adds Second Consecutive Win, Downs STLFC

By Staff, 08/08/20, 9:17PM EDT


Reno's De La Cerda stars in victory against Tacoma; Jome leads Bold FC to victory against Toros

FC Tulsa continued its undefeated start with victory on the road against Saint Louis FC, Reno 1868 FC held on in a tight contest against Tacoma Defiance to take victory, and Ish Jome produced a big performance as Austin Bold FC defeated Rio Grande Valley FC on Saturday night in the USL Championship. 


FENTON, Mo. – Tulsa continued its undefeated start to the season as goals in either half by Eric Bird and Dario Suarez earned victory on the road against STLFC at West Community Stadium.

Looking to build off its dramatic midweek equalizer, Saint Louis almost took the lead in the seventh minute when Kadeem Dacres cut past a marker on the right and drove to the top of the penalty area before firing a low shot to the far corner that Tulsa goalkeeper Sean Lewis got down well to save. STLFC goalkeeper Kyle Morton then matched his counterpart with a good diving save to keep out a curling shot by Lebo Moloto seven minutes later. Ariel Martinez also tested Morton soon after with a low finish from the left side of the penalty area, but the goalkeeper blocked the shot and his defense cleared.

Saint Louis came close to taking the lead in the first half eight minutes before the break, though, as Kyle Greig’s flicked effort at the near post after a corner by Todd Wharton from the left clipped the right post and deflected away. In the 43rd minute, however, it was Tulsa that hit the front as Bird sent a long-range finish that appeared to take a slight deflection into the left corner of the net after STLFC had initially cleared a corner kick from the visitors.

Saint Louis’ Phanuel Kavita almost made it two goals in as many games in the 68th minute with a looping shot from the edge of the penalty area that went just over the crossbar, and Tulsa almost iced the game with five minutes to go when Suarez sent a finish from the left side of the penalty area off the right post and out for a goal kick. In stoppage time, however, Suarez made no mistake with a low strike to the bottom-left corner from the top of the penalty area to wrap up a second consecutive victory. Man of the Match

Eric Bird, FC Tulsa – Bird broke the game open with his long-range finish in the first half and also completed 27 of 36 passes, won 7 of 9 duels and made 11 recoveries to help Tulsa to victory.


RENO, Nev. – Corey Hertzog converted from the penalty spot and Eric De La Cerda made a key second-half penalty save as 1868 FC took a close victory against the Defiance at Greater Nevada Field.

Looking to add to its lead in Group A, Reno produced a pair of early chances as Brent Richards and Sergio Rivas both forced saves from Tacoma goalkeeper Christian Herrera with long-range efforts. Tacoma’s Azriel Gonzalez also went close inside the opening 10 minutes with a shot that was tipped wide of the right post by Reno goalkeeper Eric De La Cerda, and the 1868 FC shot-stopper had to be sharp to keep out back-to-back chances for Danny Robles and Alec Diaz in the 18th minute.

The hosts took the lead in the 20th minute, however, as Ben Kikanovic scored his first goal for the club on a turning finish from the right side of the penalty area after Tacoma was unable to clear a long throw-in sufficiently. The Defiance hit back four minutes later as Robles found space to move just inside the penalty area and fired home a low shot into the bottom-left corner of the net.

Momentum swung back the way of Reno just past the half-hour mark as Kikanovic was brought down in the Defiance penalty area by Herrera for a penalty kick. Corey Hertzog stepped up and converted from the spot, squeezing his shot past Herrera, who got a hand to the shot but couldn’t keep it out. Kikanovic then had a chance to double Reno’s lead inside the opening minute of the second half but Herrera made a kick-save to send the ball wide of the left post.

Tacoma was handed a chance to equalize just past the hour mark when Rivas was whistled for a foul in the Reno penalty area, giving the visitors a penalty kick of their own. Unlike Hertzog, however, Diaz’s low shot to the left corner was corralled by De La Cerda to keep 1868 FC on top. The hosts then had another chance to add a third on the night, but Hertzog’s header off Christiano Francois’ cross from the left was tipped over the crossbar by Herrera. Reno continued to pursue an insurance goal, and Herrera did well to keep out Tucker Bone with three minutes to go. Tacoma was unable to find a late equalizer, though, as Reno claimed victory in its home opener. Man of the Match

Eric De La Cerda, Reno 1868 FC – The 19-year-old recorded seven saves – including a key penalty-kick save in the second half – to help 1868 FC preserve victory on home turf.


AUSTIN, Texas – Ish Jome had two goals and one assist to lead Bold FC to a much-needed three points against Rio Grande Valley on Saturday night at Bold Stadium.

Looking to break through for their first win of the season, the Toros struck in the third minute when Carter Manley’s low cross from the right was met by Kembo Kibato 10 yards from goal for a first-time finish to the right corner of the net. RGVFC almost struck again four minutes later when Robert Coronado stepped up well to intercept a pass and then fired a shot from 25 yards that forced a low save by Bold FC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo.

Coronado was then sent off for his second caution in the 24th minute, and that helped Bold FC to settle. The hosts found an equalizer three minutes later when a cross by Jome from the left was deflected, and the hosts recycled possession to Jorge Troncoso on the right. His angled cross found Jome for a volleyed finish at the top-left corner of the six-yard area. Eleven minutes later, Jome turned provider as a long pass by Fabien Garcia found him on the left, and Jome’s ball into the center was turned home by Alasanne Ates Diouf for a halftime lead.

Jome added a second goal on the night midway through the second half as a poor corner kick from the right deflected out to him at the top of the penalty area. Jome took a touch to control and then bent a finish into the top-left corner from 25 yards to give Austin a two-goal lead. Restrepo was called on to maintain that advantage with 17 minutes to go as he kept out a low shot to the right corner by Juan Obregon Jr., but in the final minute Billy Forbes added a fourth for Austin to wrap up its first win since the season resumed. Man of the Match

Ish Jome, Austin Bold FC – Jome produced two high-quality finishes as well as an assist, completed 52 of 65 passes overall and made one interception and six recoveries defensively.


MATTHEWS, N.C. – The Independence had chances late on but were unable to find a winner as they finished all square with regional rival the Charleston Battery at the Sportsplex at Matthews.

Neither side was able to find a fast start, and the Battery created the first big chance of the game when Romario Piggott fired a looping shot from 25 yards that was saved by Independence goalkeeper Brandon Miller. The Independence took the lead in the 38th minute, however, as Dane Kelly picked up possession on the left side, drove past a defender into the penalty area and scored from a narrow angle for his 79th regular season goal in the Championship.

The Battery almost got a fortunate response only two minutes later as a long-range shot by Robbie Crawford took a big deflection off Zeiko Lewis, leaving Miller flatfooted in the Charlotte goal, but the ball went just wide of the left corner of the net. Charleston’s did pull level in the 42nd minute, however, as Lewis saw his effort to find the net deflected home by Independence defender Aaron Maund for an own goal.

Charlotte almost regained the lead with 20 minutes to go as Maund forced a big save from Battery goalkeeper Phil Breno with a header off a corner kick from the left by Rey Ortiz. Kelly then had a chance at his second of the night with 10 minutes to go as Enzo Martinez’s angled cross to the left side of the penalty area was volleyed wide of the left upright by the Jamaican.

With five minutes to go the Battery were reduced to 10 men as Rennico Clarke was sent off, adding pressure to the visitors to hold on. Charlotte’s Martinez went close as his shot from 20 yards flashed just wide of the left post, while Ortiz hit a curling shot in second-half stoppage time toward the top-right corner that was denied by Breno. That proved the final opportunity for the hosts, however, as honors ended even. Man of the Match

Dane Kelly, Charlotte Independence – Kelly scored for the hosts, had five shots overall and linked up play nicely when called upon, completing 10 of 13 passes while also winning 8 of 10 duels.


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Prosper Kasim his first goal of the season for Legion FC, which took its second consecutive victory with 1-0 win against Atlanta at BBVA Field.

Birmingham’s Neco Brett had a big chance to put the hosts ahead in the 11th minute but Atlanta goalkeeper Ben Lundgaard closed down well to deny his effort. In the opening minute of stoppage time, however, Kasim put the hosts ahead with a long-range finish that picked out the bottom-right corner of the net for a halftime lead.

The second half opened quietly, but Legion FC’s Bruno Lapa almost added to the host’s lead just past the hour-mark with a low finish from the left side of the penalty area that was well saved by Atlanta’s Ben Lundgaard. Atlanta then threatened a couple of minutes later, but Coleman Gannon’s header was blocked away by Jonathan Dean. The visitors got a better chance to equalize with 11 minutes to go as Baboucarr Njie found space in the left side of the penalty area but had his shot denied by Legion FC goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel. Birmingham saw out the game from there to collect its second victory of the week. Man of the Match

Prosper Kasim, Birmingham Legion FC – Kasim’s first goal of the season was a fine one, and he also completed 32 of 40 passes, won 3 of 4 duels and made seven recoveries in solid performance.


PORTLAND, Ore. – Republic FC rode an early goal to victory against T2 at Providence Park as they snapped a two-game winless streak to get back on track in their drive for the postseason.

Sacramento took the lead in somewhat fortuitous fashion in the 12th minute as a cross from the right by Matt Mahoney found Cameron Iwasa for a header that hit the crossbar, rebounded out and went into the net off the back of T2 goalkeeper Jake Leeker for an own goal. Republic FC almost found a second 10 minutes later as Sam Werner’s corner kick fell in the penalty area but was hustled wide of the net by T2’s defense.

Both teams had chances later in the first half but neither Portland’s Marcus Epps or Sacramento’s Werner could find the target with their finishes. Epps then got another chance immediately from the opening kickoff in the second half but had a low finish turned away by Republic FC goalkeeper Rafael Diaz.

Sacramento was then handed a big chance to add to its lead eight minutes after the break as T2’s Ken Krolicki was whistled for a foul in the penalty area, but Iwasa was denied his 50th regular-season goal in the Championship as Leeker made a diving save to his left to keep out the shot. Portland tried to find a way back into the game down by just a goal, but while Republic FC’s Mahoney was sent off late for receiving his second yellow card of the game the visitors were able to hold on and take their second win of the season. Man of the Match

Hayden Sargis, Sacramento Republic FC – The SRFC Academy product recorded seven clearances, won 7 of 10 duels and won 2 of 2 tackles while completing 46 of 62 passes overall to help the visitors earn a shutout victory

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