LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Cameron Lancaster scored for a second consecutive game and Jonathan Gomez notched a pair of assists as Louisville City FC took a 3-1 victory against OKC Energy FC on Wednesday night at Lynn Family Stadium to move past Birmingham Legion FC and into top spot in the USL Championship’s Central Division.
Facing Energy FC for the first time since 2015, Louisville looked to get out to a fast start and saw Lancaster fire just wide of the right post from the top of the penalty area in the third minute. Niall McCabe also forced a save for the hosts from OKC goalkeeper Kyle Ihn two minutes later, but in the 14th minute LouCity took the lead as Wesley Charpie headed home a corner by Gomez from the right delivered to the top of the six-yard area.
Neither side was able to create many clear chances after LouCity went ahead, but five minutes before the halftime break the hosts threatened to add a second four minutes as after a shot by McCabe was partially blocked as it caromed into the penalty area, Lancaster was first denied by a block from OKC’s Sam Rogers before Ihn responded quickly to keep out Corben Bone’s follow-up effort.
Off the ensuing corner, however, Lancaster struck as Louisville kept the pressure on after Energy FC had partially cleared, setting up a shot from 20 yards by Charpie that Ihn got down to well to parry, only for Lancaster to anticipate the rebound and put away his seventh goal of the season.
Energy FC’s Aidan Daniels almost answered for the visitor two minutes later with a curling shot that went just over the top-right corner of the net from 20 yads. Louisville goalkeeper Chris Hubbard also had to make a good save early in the second half as Charlie Ward sent a free kick from the right of center just outside the penalty area over the wall and on target to the right side of the net, but in the 55th minute Gomez added his second assist of the night as he found Bone, whose first touch pushed him into the penalty area and set up a finish past Ihn for Louisville’s third tally.
Villyan Bijev pulled a goal back for the visitors in the 61st minute as he received a flicked pass by Jaime Chavez about 25 yards from goal in the left channel and took a touch before rifling home a shot to the near post that got past a diving Hubbard. Louisville’s Gomez almost added a goal to his assist with 20 minutes to go as he snapped a shot from just inside the left edge of the penalty area wide of the far post.
Kyle Greig also looked to add to LouCity’s lead with 12 minutes to go, while the side also brought on 16-year-old Josh Wynder for his USL Championship debut in the closing stages. After Energy FC had one last attacking flurry in stoppage time as both Lopez and Hiroki Kurimoto had chances saved by Hubbard, though, the hosts closed out the contest and secured another three points.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Jonathan Gomez, Louisville City FC – Gomez continued his strong season with a pair of assists while finishing with five key passes and completing 31 of 34 passes overall.
LOU – Wesley Charpie (Jonathan Gomez) 14’
LOU – Cameron Lancaster 41’
LOU – Corben Bone (Jonathan Gomez) 55
OKC – Villyan Bijev (Jaime Chavez) 61’