OKLAHOMA CITY – Birmingham Legion FC moved a point further ahead at the top of the Central Division but was unable to find a way past OKC Energy FC as the sides played to a 0-0 draw on Sunday night at Taft Stadium in a result that confirmed Memphis 901 FC’s place in the 2021 USL Championship Playoffs.
The hosts opened the game brightly and had a chance in the fifth minute as a cross from the right was partially cleared to Arun Basuljevic inside the penalty area, who controlled and fired back on target only for Legion FC defender Alex Crognale to block and clear. Despite the early efforts by Energy FC the visitors saw out the pressure and in the 28th minute almost broke the deadlock themselves as Mikey Lopez played a lifted pass into the left side of the penalty area where Jamaican international Junior Flemmings hit the outside of the near post from a narrow angle.
The game remained level at the break, but the hosts almost struck four minutes into the second half when Zach Ellis-Hayden sped into attack down the right side and after drawing Legion FC goalkeeper Matt VanOekel slid a pass centrally to Jaime Chavez, who had his shot brilliantly blocked by defender Johnathan Dean, allowing the goalkeeper to smother any follow-up chance.
Birmingham had a half-chance just past the hour-mark as Prosper Kasim was found in space to turn and shoot from 25 yards toward the right corner that forced a low save by Energy FC goalkeeper CJ Cochran. Chavez then flashed a shot wide of the left post from the right side of the penalty area for the hosts before Cochran was called on again to keep Legion FC from taking the lead as JJ Williams had an initial shot blocked before Bruno Lapa fired a shot off the carom from the top of the penalty area that the goalkeeper got down superbly to deny the strike to the bottom-left corner.
The visitors continued to look for a winner as the game entered the final 10 minutes and shortly after coming on as a substitute, Eli Crognale sent a shot just wide of the left post from the right side of the penalty area. There would be no breakthrough, however, as Energy FC’s playoff chances became even slimmer after its league-leading 13th draw of the season.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Anderson Asiedu, Birmingham Legion FC – Asiedu was positive throughout, finishing the game with three shots and completing 4 of 4 dribbles and 56 of 69 passes while defensively winning 12 of 18 duels and 5 of 5 tackles for the visitors.