TULSA, Okla. – Omar Gordon scored in the 90th minute to earn a 10-man OKC Energy FC a 1-1 draw with FC Tulsa in the second Black Gold Derby of the season on Saturday night at ONEOK Field, grabbing a point from its in-state rival while keeping its own playoff chances afloat.
Tulsa had taken the lead with 17 minutes to go as Dario Suarez continued his recent hot streak with a sixth goal in the past four games. A long pass to the left corner found Matt Sheldon, who cut in from the flank toward the penalty area but was crowded out as he tried to shoot. The ball deflected to Suarez in the right side of the penalty area, however, and his low shot found the bottom-left corner of the net.
Having taken the lead, Tulsa went up a man four minutes later when Energy FC’s Jose Hernandez was sent off for his second yellow card of the game after a late challenge on Sheldon. Despite being down a man, though, OKC won a corner kick on the right in the final minute that was delivered by Rafael Garcia into the near post where Gordon rose and powered his header home.
Tulsa had created chances to take the lead earlier in the game as Marlon forced a big save from Energy FC goalkeeper CJ Cochran with an ambitious effort from the right side in the fifth minute and Suarez fired through the six-yard area from a narrow angle on the right that ended up going to safety.
Ariel Martinez also threatened for the hosts with 20 minutes gone as his powerful header off a cross from the right by Rodrigo Da Costa rang off the crossbar and rebounded safely into the arms of Cochran as he turned back after coming out to challenge the header. Kevin Garcia also hit the woodwork on a corner kick a minute later as his flicked header went off the right post before an offside Callum Chapman-Page put home the rebound, denying the hosts the opener.
Energy FC’s first good chance didn’t arrive until 10 minutes before halftime as a corner kick from the right was met by a header from Atiba Harris that Tulsa goalkeeper Sean Lewis just kept out with a diving header. Off the ensuing corner kick from the left, Harris won the header again at the near post but redirected his effort just over the crossbar.
Notable chances proved fewer in the second half before Suarez broke the game open in the 73rd minute, but as the rivals battled once again for in-state bragging rights the closing minutes produced their fair share of drama as Energy FC came away with a share of the points.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Rafael Garcia, OKC Energy FC – Garcia provided the assist on Gordon’s game-tying goal and was influential throughout, recording four key passes and completing 26 of 34 passes overall while making five recoveries.