OKLAHOMA CITY – Goals in either half by Jaime Chavez and Aidan Daniels sent OKC Energy FC to a 2-0 victory against Indy Eleven on Sunday evening at Taft Stadium as the hosts moved back into the top four in the USL Championship’s Central Division standings at the end of the weekend’s action.
After a cagy opening to the game that saw both defenses on top, Energy FC took the lead on its first shot in the 30th minute as Villyan Bijev played a through-ball for Chavez into the right side of the penalty area that saw the veteran forward time his run well to remain onside and slip a finish into the left corner of the net. Two minutes later Chavez had a chance to add a second as he was slipped a pass by Arun Basuljevic in a central position in the box, but his turning shot was well parried away by Indy’s Bobby Edwards.
Indy’s first real chance didn’t arrive until the 42nd minute as a free kick from the left channel by Gordon Wild was angled into the top-right edge of the six-yard area where Jared Timmer’s finish found the side-netting, but the hosts came out positively to start the second half as both Bijev and Basuljevic had long-range efforts saved by Edwards. With chances remaining limited, OKC looked the more likely to add to its lead, and in the 66th minute a good pass in behind the Indy defense by Tucker Stephenson opened up a chance for Daniels that he hit first time only to clip the top of the crossbar.
With 16 minutes to go, though, Daniels struck as he played a clever give-and-go with Bijev that saw Energy FC’s goals and assists leader bag his second helper of the game with a scooped pass over the backline that Daniels volleyed past Edwards into the left side of the net.
The visitors had an opportunity to get back into the game in the 79th minute when Nicky Law caught a headed clearance by an Energy FC defender on the volley from the top-right edge of the penalty area perfectly, only for his shot to be tipped over the crossbar by OKC goalkeeper CJ Cochran, but that proved the lone shot on goal for Indy as the hosts saw out the victory, setting up a key rematch on Wednesday night in the Central Division’s playoff race.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Villyan Bijev, OKC Energy FC – Bijev provided assists on both goals for the hosts and finished the night with six key passes overall while also taking two shots and completing 27 of 37 passes overall in the win.
OKC – Jaime Chavez (Villyan Bijev) 30’
OKC – Aidan Daniels (Villyan Bijev) 74’